As you may be aware, the vaccine rollout in the UK is very successful. I was granted priority because I do come into close contact with health workers sometimes as part of my job (if you are wondering, I am a journalist specifically working in medicine and healthcare).
I made the fully informed decision to take the AstraZeneca vaccine (not a fan of Pfizer because it’s a totally new concept - but to each their own!).
If you live in the UK too or you keep up with the news, you would know that essentially we have been living in hell over here and have been in lockdown since November. January saw our highest ever figures and without exaggeration, I was receiving phone calls every day from different family members and friends to hear about new infections, hospitalisations and deaths. Being in that position, pushed me to take the vaccine when the opportunity came around.
I am also hoping as planned, things begin to open up again in June and I want to play my part by vaccinating.
The Day of the Vaccine
It’s actually been a week since I took my vaccine and things definitely did not go as planned. On the day, I felt quite nervous and excited and the injection itself was very small. Unlike other vaccines, I did not feel it penetrate my arm nor did I get a sudden headache (this is what I usually experienced in the past when taking other vaccines as a kid!)
I went home and everything was great! I didn’t anticipate any further complications.
The Second Day
So I woke up at 3am shivering myself to death (ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration)…I literally couldn't move to reach out for the paracetamol and glass of water at my bedside. It took me an hour to finally manage to move my arm, sit up and take some painkillers. I had never ever experienced anything like this in my entire life.
You’ll be pleased to know that after taking the paracetamol, the chills subsided. That’s when my high temperature/fever kicked in. My colleagues all complained about having a mild fever - yeah I had a very high temperature. In fact, it was so so so bad that I spent the rest of the night (actually morning because I did not go back to sleep until 8am!) covering my head with a piece of fabric soaked in ice cold water.
That's when I questioned what had been injected into my body and whether I was going to survive the rest of the day. And in case you are wondering, this was just my immune system’s way of responding to the virus in my body. The chills and temperature are usually just generated by your own immune system when fighting off a pathogen.
A Few Hours Later…
I woke up that afternoon feeling even worse than I did that night. Not only was my temperature still so high, I had the worst headache ever. Again, I was taking painkillers, cooling myself down and literally could not move my arms or legs. I had to have somebody feed me my breakfast so that I wasn’t taking painkillers on an empty stomach ( lol I know :( )
And that’s how my day continued…
The Third Day
I had a full night’s sleep and woke up with a lower temperature. This time, I could actually move around (although it took everything in me to do so). The chills were gone and I experienced some mild temperature throughout the day.
Anyway, I was forced to stay in bed again and rest up. That night, I took a quick shower and literally almost fell.
The Fourth Day
I finally woke up that morning able to wash up, get dressed and leave the house. Things finally started feeling normal again and all I had was a headache and a sore arm - which quite frankly, seemed like nothing after what I’d been through!
All in all, it was an unforeseeable experience for me. None of my colleagues experienced similar symptoms and at most experienced a sore arm, a small ache in the muscles, or a mild fever that was subsided with some painkillers.
I don’t have any underlying medical conditions, and I’m a healthy 23-year-old. I guess everyone’s body will react differently to the vaccine and this was my unpleasant experience (lol). It’s either this or Covid I guess…
Not looking forward to my second dose but that won’t be until a couple months time.
Hope this was enjoyable or at least informative!