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.