by Lisa Heath

Well, I’m a little late updating this since I got my second dose 11 days ago. But I’m here to finally post about my experience with the Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 Vaccine… Part 2. Again, much like the first post (click there for the first half if you missed it) this will probably be rambly and a little long. However, I won’t be adding in updates really since 11 days in and I’m over the side effects.

To start, the week I was to drive to Boston again for my second dose of the Pfizer-Biontech Covid-19 vaccine we got a good amount of snow. I’m still new to driving in Boston, so the snow had me on edge a bit. Luckily my coworker knew this and she was going around the same time, so she asked if I wanted to head to Boston with her. I am glad I did because it made for an entertaining drive. She was able to point out things along the way and give some history behind it and I always find that fascinating when you have your own personal tour guide and are able to learn about the area.

So at 9:30 am I set out to my coworkers house. I also learned that morning about even and odd parking coinciding with what year it was and… weird. But okay. I never knew about this, but now I do so… you learn something new every day. I parked.. found out about it being an odd year and I have to park on the odd numbered side of the street, so I reparked on the other side. Then we set off to Boston.

Apparently my coworker is one of those that gets parking spots easily, and she mentioned this to me as we neared the hospital, and sure enough – there was a spot right in front of the ER entrance which was right where we needed to go. We head in and there’s no line at the vaccine area. Last time it was a decent line, but this time it was fairly quiet. We checked in (I remembered this time!) and we went right in.

I sit down and the doctor administering the shot started asking questions to get a baseline for how I reacted to the first dose. I went over the symptoms I experienced and she said that it sounded about right. Then she did the alcohol swap on my arm and in went the needle.

This one kind of hurt, and I definitely felt it. The first shot went in and I didn’t feel it. This one was a little bit of a surprise cause I felt it. Immediately I felt the warmth around the injection site. Then the needle was disposed of, I got a bandaid and was told to sit in the designated area for 15 minutes so they could observe and make sure I didn’t have a bad reaction. A minute later my coworker joined me and immediately said “That one HURT”

Good to know I wasn’t being a wuss and it actually did hurt.

We waited our 15 minutes and just chatted, then we got our licenses back, our sticker saying we got the vaccine and a paper with the vaccination info on it… and we were free to go. On the drive home my coworker started developing a mild headache. She wasn’t sure if it was from skipping breakfast or the shot. I just had a sore arm at this point.

I went home and exhaustion hit. I laid down and took a 5 hour nap. My coworker checked on me while I was sleeping and we continued to do so a bit over the next 2 days. Some texts have names in them, so instead of badly editing, I’m only including 2 texts that have zero names involved.

The exhaustion was rough. I had all the energy zapped out of me. About an hour after that last text was sent though, the aches started setting in. First it was my left arm, which is the arm the shot was administered in. The pain and ache was radiating up to my shoulder. I had fully intended on starting my post this night, but I just wanted a break and my arm was sore – so I held off.

Just a few hours later, this is where both my coworker and I were. It was odd to me that only my shoulder and hip on the left side felt like this. I can’t say they felt like they had a heartbeat (although I did laugh at her update) but it was sore. About an hour later is when I started to feel warmer and a fever was setting in.

When I woke up Sunday morning, I had a fever and every joint in my body was sore. From my neck down to my toes… I was sore. My eyes felt dry as well which I found odd. I rarely have eye issues (with the first shot, I had red rimmed eyes the morning after) so I found it weird. While I had a fever, I still felt functional. I didn’t have serious chills or anything and I was up and moving around… slowly. I felt exhausted too.

My entire Sunday was pretty much gingerly walking around and feeling uncomfortable, but as I said – I was functional. It’s the first time I’ve had a fever without a stomach ache or stuffy nose to feel seriously miserable. So at times I felt like I might be okay, but then I went to move and was quickly reminded that things hurt.

Monday I woke up and felt the same as Sunday, so I called in to work and let them know. I do work in a medical facility, so any fever and you stay home. It should be like that in any work place, but the facility I work for is very strict on this. Usually you have to go 24 hours without a fever in order to return, however because we knew the 2nd shot may cause a fever, and it wasn’t due to an actual virus, this was different.

So I slept on and off Monday, still was walking around gently due to soreness, my eyes were still sore too.

I was waiting for the fever to break, but it wasn’t happening. I was basically taking Tylenol to lower my fever and relaxing. My arm still hurt like hell though this whole time. Lifting my arm was painful.

Now here was where it was weird for me. I woke up Tuesday ….. perfectly fine. In fact I felt better than I did before the shot. Nothing ached. Fever gone without a trace. No residual yuck feeling you sometimes have after a fever. It was like nothing happened at all. I went to work and everything went smoothly.

It’s been 8 days since waking up perfectly fine and I’ve had zero issues. I’m back to my old self.

I did keep my mom updated the entire time because she was worried about me getting the vaccine (almost 39 and you’re never too old to have your mom worry about you) but overall – it really hasn’t been that bad. Even during the period with the fever – I was very functional, just slow moving. I didn’t get the chills people reported though. I do think that was why the fever portion was more tolerable, I did not get the chills.

Overall, the experience wasn’t horrible. I have certainly been through worse with an actual cold and flu. I wasn’t miserable, just not “right” and it didn’t last all that long in comparison to an actual flu bug. I’m positive it was a better experience than actually getting Covid.

I will still be wearing a mask, and following all protocols. I have been asked “Why do you still have to wear a mask if you have the vaccine?” and simple – so far the vaccine suggest that it cuts the chance of transmission, but there’s no guarantee it will eliminate it. The virus is still new, as is the vaccine – so it is hard to tell what will happen beyond this. You get the flu shot, but it doesn’t protect from all variations of the flu. Covid is still mutating and … we don’t know what will happen. I can still be a carrier and pass it on, so to be safe and still try to curb transmission – I will be in a mask and keeping in our little bubble here and at work.

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1 comment

Undine April 2, 2021 - 1:29 pm

Thank you Lisa for sharing your experience! I greatly appreciate it because I am going for my first shot next week and it’s really nice to know what to expect.


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