My first dose and side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine

I anticipated having some response to the COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna). Even when I get the flu vaccine, I generally feel ill during the first 24-48 hours. The COVID-19 vaccine was no exception for me.

Day #1 of side effects

The first day my arm swelled and was super sore at the injection site, similar to reactions I’ve had with the tetanus shot. It was so painful I was unable to do certain activities, like picking up my son. Later in the day, I had a moderate headache. After two hours of suffering, I decided to take Tylenol.

Day #2 of side effects

The following morning I woke up with my usual fatigue. My arm still hurt like hell. By the afternoon, I felt like I had developed a mild cold. My throat was a bit sore, I felt achy, and I just wanted to nap on the couch. I cursed myself for having gotten the vaccine so close to New Year’s Eve, as I didn’t feel up to celebrating. Each day, I reported my symptoms back to the CDC through their v safe tool.

Day #3 with no side effects

It has now been a few days since my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and I’m happy to report that I’m feeling much better. I have worked out on the Reformer, taken a long walk around the neighborhood with my son, and carved some time out in my day to write this post. I also feel a sense of relief mentally that comes from knowing I have an additional layer of protection against COVID-19 now.

Why wearing a mask and social distancing is still important

It’s a new year, but this is still the same virus. It’s important to continue wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, even after you get the COVID-19 vaccine. And here’s why:

  • 95% efficacy from the vaccine is not achieved until after a couple weeks after your second dose.
  • There are currently no antibody titer tests to determine if you are fully immune after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • We do not know exactly how long immunity may last. And with new strains of COVID-19 on the horizon, it is important to continue relying on all safety measures and doing our part to protect each other.

The winter months of this pandemic may be the hardest we have faced yet. #MaskUp and stay safe, everyone.

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