I went back to the same building where I had my first Covid vaccination injection nine weeks earlier. I don’t know why I wasn’t given a full twelve week wait between jabs (which I would have preferred). They took my details first, checking I was who I said I was and that I was on their system, and then went through to another room where there was a nurse ready. I sat down in a chair and after answering a few more questions she prepared the needle with the solution, drawing it up from a tiny bottle. I let my left arm hand down the side of my body and relaxed. The nurse lifted the sleeve of my t-shirt, said, “sharp scratch…” and gently plunged the needle into my deltoid muscle. I felt barely any pain, and it was only in there for about 1 – 2 seconds, before she pulled it out and pressed a ball of cotton wool on the spot. She disposed of the needle in a special yellow sharps bin and taped the cotton wool to my arm. I then went outside and sat in the corridor for twenty minutes to make sure I didn’t have a rare allergic reaction, which I didn’t, after which I drove home. Easy!
All the rest of the day I felt fine. But late that evening I realised my entire body ached. All the joints in my legs had become painful and my thighs and shins ached. My left arm felt sore and I had a slight headache. I took paracetamol and went to bed, but I couldn’t sleep. I kept dozing off then waking up 45 minutes later. At one point I woke up absolutely freezing cold. I was so cold I was shivering and even my thick winter duvet and thick, heavy throw on top couldn’t warm me up. Luckily I then had a menopausal hot flush so I was boiling hot and sweating profusely. At some point I managed to get a few hours sleep. The next day I took three doses of paracetamol and one dose of ibuprofen for a continuous headache and the body aches, but by the evening it had all calmed down and the pain was gone. I slept well that night and woke the next day back to normal, with perhaps only a tender arm.
So the first dose of the Pfizer BioNtech vaccine gave me no adverse side effects at all, barely a sore arm, but with this second dose I was unwell, although it didn’t last more than about 36 hours.
All in all I feel grateful to have had the vaccine and pleased I didn’t suffer any serious side effects. I look forward to a few months of confidence being completely protected from serious illness and hospitalisation from Covid before I guess we’ll all need to get our update vaccines to protect against the mutations that everyone will have brought back to the UK from their summer holidays abroad.
Yesterday was a big day. The UK became the fist country in the world to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for widespread use. People will be getting the jab from next week. The first to receive it will be those in the extremely vulnerable categories, the elderly and health care workers (which will even include me due to my work volunteering for Macmillan). I must privately admit to being a little apprehensive, if I’m being totally honest. I know the vaccine is not made of a live virus so there’s no possibility of me getting Covid-19, it’s not that that worries me. It’s more the fact that it’s been developed and approved so very quickly and that it is an RNA vaccine – a type of vaccine which has never been done before. I feel apprehensive about it, as I think many people do, because once it’s in, it’s in, and there’s no going back. I’m worried about side effects. But then again, the side effects from catching the virus and possibly getting Long Covid are said to be far, far more unpleasant than any possible side effects from having the vaccine.
Today, three ex-Presidents of the United States of America have pledged to have their vaccination jab live on television (Obama, Bush, and Clinton). In this particular case, we do want to see our leaders go first. I think it will reassure us.
Meanwhile the UK has come out of Lockdown 2.0 and into a new, stricter three tier system. My area is in Tier 2 (High). Restrictions apply, but shops are open. I will test this by buying a pair of new winter boots tomorrow.
An effective working vaccine is very close now. It’s all over the news. The markets are surging with joy! This first one is an RNA vaccine, a type of vaccine which uses a tiny fragment of the virus’ own genetic code to make part of the virus inside the body so it is recognised by the immune system as foreign. It then gets attacked and destroyed. Early studies show that it can protect more than 90% of people from developing symptoms, which is more effective than anyone could have hoped for. Its developers, Pfizer and BioNTech, said it has been tested on 43,500 people with no safety concerns raised, and is set to be put forward for immediate emergency approval.
No RNA vaccines have ever before been developed for use in humans so it’s all very new. But everyone is so hopeful and excited by it. This is how it works:
They say that the first vaccinations may be given before Christmas 2020.
Isn’t that something?!
People will be ranked by age, with the under 50s the last to receive it. Residents and workers in care homes, and health workers, will be top of the priority list.