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You Nasty Little Prick

Some common side-effects to being vaccinated

Once again I’m seeing a lot of people over on Twitter discussing their symptoms from having had their first (and second) vaccine injection of whichever vaccine they’ve been administered. With everyone having a broad cross section of minor reactions — some that are worrying to the recipient mostly due, I am sure, lack of any solid information.

As someone of an age that has traveled, extensively, and gone through and almost yearly routine of having vaccines for this or that, I have a good knowledge of just how my body reacts to the average, and oft administered pricks, from tetanus to hepatitis and yes, smallpox back in the day.

So I’ve made sure to read up on what facts are available, plus, listened carefully to those who have had their shots, so far, and have a fairly good idea of what most of us — and I emphasise that this is an average though not necessarily a norm — can expect.

First of all, the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines (mRNA) are a new technology compared to the J&J shot, or Astra Zeneca. So with the first two vaccines, anecdotally, most people are reporting less side affects on the first injection, with symptoms that can range from a mild fever to sore arm, painful injection site, or itchy injection site. A general malaise and fatigue, and with some, a foggy brain that doesn’t seem to focus. All these symptoms can last between 1–4 days at most. Though I noted a few people saying nothing hit them till a day or two after their first injection.

Others have experienced nothing.

Now, on the second injection for both Moderna and Pfizer, there seems to be more of a reaction, maybe because the body has already been primed with the first injection to expect something, so that the severity of the symptoms can, once again, include those already mentioned through to night sweats, shivers, chills, lymph nodes in the armpit swelling and, in some cases, painfully so.

All this, as they say, is considered ‘normal’ as expected side effects.

Again, anecdotally, from all the tweets I’ve culled and the information I’ve read, not everyone has the same reactions, some have it worse than others, but never for more that 2–3 or, 4 days tops. And what I’ve read, strangely enough, the older you are the less likely you are, with Moderna and Pfizer, to have any really bad effects. I can vouch for this as what appear to be typical for older recipients, as four of my older in-laws and family members (65 to 85 yrs of age) have all recounted little or no side affects other than maybe feeling tired and a slightly sore arm. And only for a day or two.

I have no immediate family members who have had the J&J or Astra Zeneca shots. So I cannot say for sure whether these vaccines will have similar side affects to those mentioned. Many online —living in the UK — who have mentioned side affects having had the Astra Zeneca shot, have quoted similar side affects to those already mentioned.

Of course, I am recounting all this as a means to help others worried about what side affects to expect, but again, must emphasise this is all anecdotal. It is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice from your health care provider.

As with anything important, always try to educate yourself when in doubt, so you can be as prepared as possible.

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