themighty logo

I Got the COVID-19 Vaccine. This Is What It Was Like.

I did my research. I read about other people’s experience. I read scientific articles. I did more research than I have done into the flu shot or any other standard vaccinations. I did this because of media and peer pressure– two things that I try not to give into but cannot help being influenced by at least a little.

I have lived everyday since early March with a bit of fear lingering in the back of my mind. I have gone to work through this international pandemic. I have not had the choice to stay home, to distance myself from all possible dangers. But I did have the choice to get the vaccine in an attempt to protect myself from a horrible illness and aid in developing herd immunity.

On December 17th, at 3:05 p.m., I received the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine. I immediately turned purple, grew two extra appendages and became a superhero.

Just kidding.

It felt the same as any other intramuscular injection– some slight pain in my arm as the needle was inserted and then a bit of further pain with the injection of the serum. I sat at the office for 15 minutes, socially distanced from the other newly vaccinated doctors, nurses and respiratory therapists. After the 15 minute, I got up, walked to my car and drove 40 minutes home. I felt great. That night, my arm became sore, similar to the soreness often caused by a flu shot. This soreness lasted about 24 hours but did not interfere with any of my normal functioning.

That’s it. My story is boring. But my story should be heard. There’s enough talk of the terrible side effects that some people experience. The New England Journal of Medicine published an article on December 10th which shows that the side effects of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine are similar to the side effects of the standard flu vaccine, with possibly a slightly higher incidence of temporary fatigue. The vaccine proved to be highly effective with protection starting approximately 12 days after vaccination.

Today, December 29th, marks 12 days post-vaccination for me. Although you would not be able to tell that I got my vaccine based on my appearance, I feel so different. I feel hopeful for the first time since March. A sort of close and tangible hope.

I share my vaccination story with anyone who will listen. I tell them it’s a boring story because there’s really nothing to tell, but that is why I am hopeful. If people can hear more stories about how the vaccine is not scary and does not always cause horrible side effects, maybe more people will stop sharing the stories about a few nightmarish experiences.

We cannot develop herd immunity without participation. Help me to spread this hope. Share my story. Get the vaccine. Share your story.

Image courtest of Getty Images