What it is like to have a Covid vaccination

In the UK I think the speed in which the Covid-19 vaccinations are being rolled out is extremely impressive, I am sure you will agree with me. They are currently issuing the vaccinations to those over the age of 50, which is group 9 of the phased rollout – that’s great news and a step closer to beating this horrible – dangerous – coronavirus.

I had my vaccination a couple of weeks ago and thought I would share my experience with you, in case you are a little apprehensive about it – which is completely understandable, we are always wary of the unknown.

I received a text message inviting me to click on a link to book my vaccination. If I’m honest my anxiety kicked in at this point because I have read so much lately about different scams, I thought the link might take me to somewhere dodgy, so instead I telephoned my doctors surgery just to make sure it was a genuine text. It was. The doctor’s receptionist offered to make the appointment for me over the phone, which I did.

It’s a funny thing isn’t it, when you know you need to do something but it’s a new thing and for that reason you are worried about it, particularly as it is a new vaccine that has only very recently been created. It doesn’t help that over the last few weeks many countries are refusing to use the AstraZeneca vaccine because there have been claims of it causing blood clots. Although they are only doing their jobs, the news channels and social media have a lot of responsibility for this. I have looked into these claims and the amount of people that have had blood clots following the vaccination is proportionately lower than those that would have had a blood clot under normal circumstances (ie not after a vaccination.) Stories like this don’t really help though as it might put people off having the vaccination. It is so important that we aim to get most of the population vaccinated to help put an end to this pandemic that is causing so much disruption and harm in the world.

I received a text message to confirm my appointment with the postcode of the community centre, this was followed by another reminder text a couple of days before my vaccination appointment.

I had mixed feelings on the day of my appointment, in a way I was worried because I had had a serious reaction to a vaccination in the past. When I was about two I reacted badly to my measles vaccination. It caused me to have convulsions and hallucinations, it also affected my coordination and motor skills and I lost about half a stone in weight – which is a lot when you are only two years old. If only it were so easy now! Jokes aside it must have been an awful time for my parents. Consequently I was worried about having this injection in case I might have severe side effects from it. I made a conscious point of making sure I discussed this with whoever was going to give the vaccination.

On arrival at the car park, I was met by two marshals who asked me to confirm my name and then explained really clearly where to park and which path to walk along to the vaccination centre. As I turned a corner I was greeted by two ladies who directed me to the building. Once inside, another lady pumped some hand gel on to my hands and directed me towards a table inside an inner room. I gave my name and date of birth to the receptionists in the next room and they pointed to a chair I needed to sit on to wait – I was happy to note that these chairs were being cleaned by another volunteer. After waiting probably the grand total of about ten seconds I was given a bay number so proceeded to the chair inside bay 4. The lady who was going to give me my vaccination asked me a few questions about vaccinations I had previously had and whether any had caused bad side effects for me. Hallelujah! This was my chance to discuss my concerns, I also mentioned to her that I had Hashimotos Thyroid Disease, which is an autoimmune disease. Although there is no proof that having this type of autoimmune disease would cause a reaction to the vaccination, I thought it was better to be safe than sorry. My fears were alleviated and she asked me if I was happy to have the AstraZeneca vaccination.

Does the vaccination hurt?

I will be honest it did hurt but having a needle jabbed in your arm isn’t going to happen without a slight discomfort is it? I was then free to go! I was quite surprised as I thought I would have to wait around for a while just to, you know, make sure I was ok. Several people I know who have had the Pfizer vaccination have had to sit and wait around for 15 minutes for this reason. Apparently not so with the AstraZeneca vaccination! So on leaving I was given my appointment for 11 weeks time and went out through a different door back to the car park. I was thoroughly impressed with the way the whole experience was managed. There was a one way system for cars and for human traffic and I was nowhere near any other members of the public, literally the only people I came into any close contact with were those involved in the vaccination centre.

Are there side effects from the AstraZeneca vaccination?

So how did I feel after the vaccination? I’ll be honest my arm hurt a lot around the area where I had the injection. I felt a bit odd afterwards but I think that was purely psychological because it was a bit of a scary thing to have done and I was kind of expecting some sort of reaction but I wasn’t really sure what, if that makes sense.

I didn’t sleep very well that night, I felt a little fevery, and in the morning I had a dreadful headache, along with an aching back and a feeling that everything felt like it took more of an effort to do. You know when you are not very well, it’s just easier to sit around and take things easy. I also felt quite queasy and just generally a bit run down.

How long do the side effects last?

Personally I felt unwell for a couple of days but after that the effects subsided and I felt completely back to normal! Experiencing the side effects made me appreciate the fact that I had the vaccination because if I felt like that after just a jab, I could only imagine how awful it must feel to actually become ill with Covid-19.

Does everyone get side effects from the Covid vaccinations?

No they definitely don’t. I know many people who have had the vaccination and had no side effects whatsoever. Honestly even if you do have side effects they don’t last very long and you will not feel as ill as if you actually got Covid.

I’m looking forward to having my next injection and having a fuller state of protection against this horrible virus.

UPDATE – FULLY VACCINATED

Fully vaccinated against Covid

I had my second vaccination ten weeks after the first and it feels so good to know I have the maximum protection against Covid. I had minimum side effects after the second one, just an achey arm and very slight headache. Knowing I am fully vaccinated makes me feel more confident and less scared when I am amongst other people. I hope that everyone who is offered the vaccination has it done. That is the only way we are going to stop the spread of the disease.

Have you had the vaccine yet? Which one did you have and I would love to know if you had any side effects or not.

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