MY ASTRAZENECA COVID-19 VACCINE EXPERIENCE

CTTO

COVID! COVID! COVID! I have enough hearing it all the time! Seriously!

Holiday! Holiday! Holiday! The inner me is screaming for this! Tough luck! You know what I really miss right now from the old normal? It’s not grand or something that requires a large sum of money. It is the ability to go out, have a cup of decent coffee and listen to the buzz of a local coffee shop. For me, it is exhilarating! The simple things in life. Sigh**

I can’t believe COVID-19 has been wreaking havoc for over a year now. The whole world has come to a standstill. It feels surreal, nightmarish even. Countries from all over the globe have been scrambling to contain the spread of the virus. Measures after measures were and are still in place to curb the spread but it seems it’s a lost cause until a glimmer of hope finally emerged – the advent of COVID 19 vaccine.

Late in October 2020, I contracted COVID. It was not a nice feeling at all! It took me at least 3 to 4 weeks to kind of like fully recover from it. I’ll let you know all about my COVID-19 journey in a separate blog. But that humbling experience made me realise the significance of even simple things I used to take for granted. It opened my eyes to the fact that we’re actually living a flimsy life. On this note, I was really sure of myself then I’d be having COVID-19 vaccine when it’s ready and available.

A few days ago, I had my AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Before the nurse administered the COVID-19 vaccine, she asked me for some details and something she said really stuck in my head. She said I’d be feeling upscale side effects from the vaccine. I thought, “It couldn’t be worse than the COVID-19 symptoms I had 3 months ago, surely!” I wish I didn’t have that ‘smirk’ then.

I started feeling a bit rough six hours after I had the jab. I felt generally unwell, just exhausted as if I had come off a very long and challenging shift working as a Senior Healthcare Assistant when in fact I only worked for 6 hours that very day. I went to bed early and woke up around midnight with chills and just thirsty beyond words. I checked my temperature and it registered 38.1°C which actually surprised me because I never had a temperature more than 37°C when I had the COVID. I also felt a massive headache looming so I took paracetamol to manage the aches and pains as well as the fever. The whole time after that, I spent just lying in bed listening to my own sniffles and tiny, little coughs. I couldn’t get comfortable that I just gave up and got up and went to the lounge and had a cup of green tea with high hopes it would help.

As the day broke, I was already having really bad headache. It’s the kind of bad headache where the back of my eyes and the top of my head were just about to explode. Plus, my left upper arm where I had the injection wasn’t helping at all because it felt really sore, burning and lump-hard. Fever was raging on and off. I had no appetite at all but I stayed on top of it by drinking lots. Fatigue! Oh boy! I don’t even know how to describe it. The whole day, I was just in bed feeling sick. At one point, I thought they’ve inoculated me with Corona virus! I know it’s silly. On the second night, I felt my back, tummy and legs having rashes and that’s on top of every side effects that I was already having. It’s too itchy I had to apply anti-itch cream. I was thankful though that my cough didn’t persist. But all these side effects even how bad were they, I was just glad to have because I know that it’s all going to be worth it in the end.

Every cloud has a silver lining. Cliché as it seems but I personally think and hope fervently that the advent of COVID-19 vaccine is the answer to the pandemic we have worldwide right now. I miss having a normal life. I miss going out and feeling the air on my face. I miss getting and giving real hugs. I miss being with family and friends. I miss going on holidays. Most of all, I miss having a worry-free mind. COVID-19 has given most of us worries beyond measures and I firmly believe that giving the vaccine a go would be the answer to it. I believe that having the vaccine is my personal contribution to humanity. I have a strong feeling of responsibility towards myself, my family, my community and the people I work with and work for. I feel proud I did it.

Lastly, I want to make it clear that the side effects that I had due to the vaccine may be different from yours. You may not feel anything at all except for the sore arm which is understandably expected. I decided to share my story not to scare you and shy you away from getting it. I want it to be transparent to all of you who haven’t made up your minds yet. I want my own experience to give ideas as to what COULD BE the side effects which the immunization could entail. If it helps, I want to share that I am from an Asian descent, Filipino to be exact. You know, if that makes sense at all. I am just grateful that I have a supportive manager who made the arrangements for us to get the vaccine. I really have high hopes that having the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine brings forth a whole new positive dimension to the dark times we’re experiencing at the moment.

Have you had yours yet?

Here’s a screenshot from the UK government website stating the side effects someone could possibly have after getting the AstraZeneca vaccine.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/regulatory-approval-of-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca/information-for-uk-recipients-on-covid-19-vaccine-astrazeneca

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