Blogging through the COVID-19 crisis: My second shot!

Friends,  I am  F U L L Y   V A C C I N A T E D.

Well, technically I will be fully vaccinated in two weeks, but you know what I mean. I got my second Pfizer shot on Wednesday and I couldn’t have been more excited about it. I am so thankful for science and the rapid development of this vaccine that will help us get back to a life that feels more normal and less scary. I was definitely anxious and more careful than others throughout the pandemic; my biggest worry was that one of my family members could be seriously affected by it. I think I shared that my sister (an elementary school teacher) tested positive on a routine weekly test at school just before Christmas, but that she luckily had no symptoms and didn’t transmit it to anybody else. What immense luck! 

It makes me even more grateful that I was finally able to get a vaccine and be part of the solution to stop the spread of COVID!

I am even more thrilled to be able to share that my parents (in  Germany) finally got their first Pfizer shots this week as well. There will be a longer wait time for the second shot (here it’s three weeks for Pfizer and four weeks for Moderna, but they’ll receive their second shots in 6 weeks), but all that matters is that they’ve finally gotten appointments and that they’ll be protected very soon. My cousin, who’s a teacher in secondary school, also got his first shot this week, so only my BIL and my cousin’s girlfriend are still waiting for their turns. 

Post-second dose side effects

It’s now been about 40 hours post-vaccination and I am feeling good. I didn’t have any side effects after the first dose but did have a slight immune response this time. I didn’t feel anything right after receiving the second dose on Wednesday but ended up not sleeping well. I tossed and turned quite a bit overnight and woke up with a noticeably sore arm and a bit of a headache. As a matter of prudence, I had planned to take the day off from work, if necessary. I was pretty fatigued for most of the day yesterday and ended up taking three naps, which is three naps more than I usually take on any given day. However, I did drink tons of water the day of the appointment and yesterday, and I think that this might have had a positive effect on my vaccine response. I really can’t complain, as this was the full extent of my side effects. It could have been worse.

I am sharing this as a way to document my experience and also to demonstrate the variability of side effects of the different vaccines. My sister, who received the first shot of AstraZeneca was sick for 3 days. Other friends, who got Moderna, only had a response to the second dose. Jon got his second Pfizer shot last week and he was really lucky, as he experienced no side effects, except for a sore arm, from either vaccine dose. 

The immune response to the vaccines might vary, but I cannot imagine that any side effects could be worse than getting COVID. So, get vaccinated, if you can. It’s a privilege to have access to this form of protection.

And I know it’s still a ways off, but I, for one, can’t wait for all of my family and friends to be vaccinated and for international travel to resume, so we can go visit and finally hug again. I haven’t seen my family  in 18 months (+ counting) – if you don’t count FaceTime (ha!), which has been such a lifesaver.

  1. Yay! I am so happy for you! I’m fascinated by all of the side effects and certainly blabbed about all of mine, but what really matters is that one shot at a time we’re sending COVID into the history books where it belongs.

  2. Yay! So glad you got your 2nd shot! I got mine on 3/31 so am fully protected. I had no side effects from either shot. I feel like my arm was more sore from the flu vaccine than it was for these shots. Phil got J&J earlier this month and felt like crap for 2 days. But that’s better than getting covid! It’s nice to know we are fully protected! I’m glad most of your family has gotten the vaccine, too. I know some in my family have but not all and I haven’t really asked about the status of some as covid is a contentious topic in our family. :(

  3. Hooray! I love seeing everyone being so happy about getting vaccinated :D

  4. Woohoo – welcome to the club! I’m sooo happy you are now fully vaccinated and side effects have been bearable. Can’t wait for you to be able to travel oversees to see family and maybe some friends! Fingers crossed this is going to take place soon!

  5. Yay for getting the second dose. And that’s great your family in Germany is starting to get vaccinated too. I had a bit more of a reaction after my first dose, but the second was fine. Granted, it was much better than having blood clots in my lungs last year and having Covid earlier this year.

  6. Woohoo! I got my second shot last week and was sick for the entire weekend, wheeeee. I got to experience my immune system doing its thing. Haha. Can’t wait to be fully protected soon!

  7. Totally agree that getting vaccinated is a privilege. I am glad you were able to get your shot. I am still having no appointment and not a clue when I will be. It is a bit frustrating however there are still people out there who need it more than I do. But I’d like to be one of the vaccinated ones rather sooner than later. At least most of my family is having one shot. I didn’t know about your sister having Covid but I am glad all went well with her and her family.

  8. So glad you are fully vaccinated, that Jon is, too, and that your family is making progress in getting their vaccines, too! I am holding on to the hope that you can see them later this year… I cannot even imagine how much you miss them and desperately want to see them.

    I had a very sore arm post-shot #2 (Pfizer/BioNTech) but that was it! I was happy about that, to be honest. My niece and nephew (obviously younger!) had very robust reactions, which I thought was interesting. It made me ponder the potential differences between their (young) immune systems and my (old) one. Ha.

    I’m struggling a bit with re-entry, even post-vaccine. I took so many precautions the entire time, that it’s hard to give them up. I am VERY slowly starting to do some things again… I imagine you are taking it slow, as well. :)

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