COVID-19 Vaccine and Me
IMPORTANT: Social media is easy and accessible to look at and build opinions off of, but don’t forget to look at real medical sites like ouuuu here, this one for facts on the COVID-19 vaccine.
Okay I know that there is a lot of confusion and mistrust about the COVID-19 vaccine, even amongst my own friends, so in a change of pace, I decided that I would write about something other than music that hopefully might help my friends and family members as well as anyone else decide if they want to get vaccinated or not. If you know me well, you know taking medicine is my last resort when I get sick. I would rather let my body fight against whatever I’m dealing with and help build natural immunity. That being said my approach with vaccines is different. I always make sure that my vaccinations are up to date. This is my experience with the COVID-19 vaccine.
Why I Chose to get Vaccinated
Before I go in-depth with my experience with the COVID-19 vaccine, I'm going to tell you three big reasons WHY I chose to get the vaccine. As a Respiratory Care student at Midwestern State University, we have to take clinicals every semester at a hospital which meant the possibility of coming in contact with COVID-19 positive patients. I knew that before I started clinicals I wanted to be vaccinated or at least start the process to protect myself from possibly contracting COVID-19 for a second time. Oh and yes, I did say a second time because I tested positive early last December for COVID-19 and I'm pretty sure I got it while doing clinicals at a previous clinical site from the semester before… but that's another story for another time. Anyways, I wanted to get vaccinated so I wouldn’t become the rare DOUBLE COVID-19 patient and most importantly (to me anyway) I didn't want to possibly give the virus to my families and friends, two groups who I have seen significantly less of since COVID-19 started. Imagine the first time you see a friend or cousin since COVID-19 shut down everything and two-three days later you get the call saying you should, “probably get tested”, nah that’s not the move. The third and biggest reason why I decided to get vaccinated is because hello, I'm a RESPIRATORY CARE student. The lungs are supposed to be MY THING, so a homie gotta make sure that his own lungs are protected, like that’s common sense. I feel like any Respiratory Therapist against taking the COVID-19 vaccine is committing professional malpractice honestly. But those are the three main reasons I decided to get the vaccine.
Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson?
When it came time to start the process of getting my COVID vaccine I used this incredible interactive map on the Texas Department of State Health Services website to find a local family-owned pharmacy and then called and scheduled myself an appointment to get the Moderna vaccine. I knew before the CDC called for a halt of the J&J vaccine administration that Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccine had a way higher success rate against COVID-19 so I wanted to get either of those vaccines and I recommended to my brother and my friends to only get either of those two as well. Little did I know that the J&J vaccine would be halted from being administered weeks later by the CDC.
The First Batch
When the time came to finally get my vaccine I pulled up in front of the pharmacy and the first thing that came up to my mind was, “I’m seriously gonna let this random stranger plunge this vaccine via needle into my shoulder”. I also thought for a brief couple of seconds what if this man or woman is like one of those crazies that like manipulates the vaccine and injects me with like 80% lysol and bleach and 20% Moderna (my mind likes to race to all the “possible” scenarios like that). But as I entered the pharmacy I was greeted by this nice elderly man who had the tone of soft spoken preacher. I proceeded to chat it up with ol’ dude as I filled out my paperwork, and the dude was actually mad cool and told me about his time in pharmacy school and how he and his wife would vaccinate a mad amount of people each week and also how on really busy weekends his friend whose also a pharmacist would drive two towns over to help out, however today it was just him and I in the pharmacy. (I definitely recommend chatting up the guy whose about to stab you with a needle it def eased my nerves about everything and made the whole thing less awkward). As I sat in the chair to get my shot, he then proceeded to ask me if I had COVID-19 before to which I of course said I did. He then said, “Okay I only ask that because if you haven't had COVID before, you have a 25% chance of having symptoms with the 1st shot, but if you had COVID before, your chances go up to 75% chance.”
When he told me that, I thought this guy was full of it. Prior to him saying that, I had NEVER EVER heard anyone that at least I talked to say ANYTHING about having SyMpToMs with their first shot. Of course, I didn’t tell him that and I proceeded to listen to what he had to say and I was dumbfounded at what else he did have to say. He proceeded to crunch numbers and told me that if I got my shot now, my symptoms should peak at “Time C” so I should buy Tylenol and take it at “Time A” so that it really kicked in at “Time B” before said symptoms proceeded to “take me out” (that was really the way he described it smfh). He really started speaking with the urgency like if I didn't do this it was cookies for me, just RIP and a overpriced funeral.
You’d think this would be the point where I would tell myself, “this guy has vaccinated thousands of people, he knows what he’s talking about”. Nope. Instead I basically told myself, “I’m THE Christian Evans, no way I'm going to have symptoms…. but this old guy is lowkey scaring the hell outta me so I’ll pick up Tylenol just in case.”
That first night that I had the vaccine, I had a radiating dull pain (on a scale of 1–10 with 10 being the most painful I give the pain a 4.5) from the needle injection site, something I expected, as sorta customary with any other vaccine like the flu shot. It was only like 4–5 hours post-shot that I realized the pain was not going away like it normally does with other vaccines but instead, the pain was amplifying and spreading throughout the rest of my body. At this realization I grabbed the Tylenol I bought and popped two capsules in my mouth per the instructions on the med label. By 1am my entire body just felt weak and lethargic as if I had arthritis all throughout my body and I also had a mild case of motion sickness too. To complete all of that I also had a mild migraine and I sweat so much while I was in my sleep (which I eventually did get to around 4am) that when I woke up I felt like I was arising out of a lake or swamp made of my own sweat. Like the amount of sweat produced by my body was was unbelievable, I had never sweat that much before in my life. I didn't check my temperature but I’m 99% sure I had a fever because I felt so freaking hot. After that first morning post-shot all of my symptoms I was dealing with had disappeared except for the body aches (or whole body arthritis) which lasted for two more days and during and after that I was completely fine.
While my experience post-shot was uncomfortable, I knew that it was just my bodies’ response to the vaccine and that it was building up my natural immunity. There wasn’t a single second while I was experiencing my post-shot symptoms that I was thinking worst-case scenario. Now that I think of it I was more worried about who was going to give me my first shot as opposed to how my body would react to the first shot. Go figure.
I get my second batch of COVID-19 vaccine this week, and you already know that I did my research on what to expect with that. So imagine my joy when I went on the CDC website to look at second-shot symptoms and saw this:
Two weeks after I get my shot, I will be the third vaccinated person in my family following after my parents who were both vaccinated earlier this year, and before my brother who will get his 2nd shot sometime later this week than me. I think unbeknownst to A LOT of people is the fact that you are not fully vaccinated right after you get your second shot (unless you took J&J which has no second shot). You are considered fully vaccinated about two weeks after you take your second shot, because at that point your body now has utilized both dosages to their full extent to protect you against COVID-19, per the CDC website:
I have already told my grandmother who I haven't been able to see since COVID-19 ruined everything, that as soon as I’m fully vaccinated I’m going to give her the biggest hug in the world to make up for all the ones she’s missed.