My Covid-19 Vaccine Experience!

I feel so very lucky to be in the UK and grateful that we've had such a wonderful, successful vaccination programme. I also feel very privileged to have been one of the first to receive the vaccine, because as a healthcare professional we were offered it with the first at risk group, despite not having any risks myself. I also had the Pfizer vaccine. 

My trust was actually amazing. They would release appointments for the week ahead in bulk, so I just kept my eye on the system and then the second one came up that fit in with my off duty, I booked. When I arrived for my appointment, it was very smooth. There was no waiting; they quickly checked me in, sent me to speak to the doctor to talk about the risks and explain the vaccine, then straight into the vaccinator. I had to then wait 15 minutes in the lounge following the vaccine to check that I didn't have a reaction. 

The second vaccine was the same process. I did have an appointment for 15:50 but I ended up being on 3 nights before, and they had said if I was shift, I could come at any time. It worked out well because I finished my last shift very late so I went at 08:00, as soon as it opened, then went home to sleep. 

The first vaccine was my worst reaction. I was really tired after the vaccine and went home and had a nap. I then slept almost 12 hours that night, and had a chilled pyjama day. About 21 hours after I'd had the vaccine, I begin to fill chills, hot and cold sweats and my partner said I felt really hot and my heart was racing. I decided to do a full set of observations, as I have my own kit and for me, they were really abnormal, although mostly borderline in terms of general ranges. 

My temperature was 38.9 degrees, when it's always 36.9 degrees for me, so really rather hot. Although I felt cold, I had my winter pyjamas, dressing gown, hot water bottle and blanket on, hence somewhat understandable. My pulse was fast at 140bpm, my blood pressure low at 92/45 and luckily, my oxygen saturations were normal. Although, I felt cold, I didn't particularly feel unwell so it was an odd one. I ended up taking some paracetamol and over the next 2 hours, my temperature dropped which made me feel better. 

The main thing I struggled with was actually my arm itself. I didn't feel the injection at all at the time, but a few hours later, it was really sore. It was only worse when I woke up the next morning. It was red, swollen and very painful. I literally couldn't lift my arm up, not even to put deodorant on. I felt like an invalid because I had to ask Luke to hang up my towel. The swelling went down by the following morning, but the pain and arm ache lasted a good 5 to 7 days. 

The second vaccine was a completely different story. I had it at 08:00, went home and slept until 13:00, then woke up with nothing. I was completely fine and not even a slightly sore arm. That evening, I had (sorry TMI) diarrhoea, but after looking into it, it's a symptom that's not been reported so it could have either been something I ate or the fact I'd recently changed my contraceptive pill just 2 days before. Regardless, very minor and only lasted about 4 hours. 

Overall, I would say I got quite lucky with the symptoms compared to what I've heard to some other people. Given that my reaction was much worse with the first, it makes me question whether I've actually had Covid-19 or not, because you're suppose to have the reaction to the second if you haven't. It's interesting and sadly, I'll never know! 

Have you had the vaccine? If so, which one and what were your symptoms? If not, will you take it when you get the chance and why?