Paul and I have had our first shot of the Pfizer about a month ago and are not suppose to get our second shot until July according to the BC health officials.
Thankfully neither of us had any adverse reactions from the vaccine, but we have heard of people who have. People of varying ages have had different reactions. Some got headaches, some got flu like symptoms, others were extremely fatigued afterwards, and these side effects lasted from a day to a week long. I wasn’t going to get the vaccine at all because of my MS but then decided an ounce of prevention is better than getting Covid.
This months Chatelaine magazine shares an interesting article about why some people get adverse reactions and others don’t.
Apparently women are more likely to have a reaction then men. Common vaccine reactions are things like soreness at the injection site, headache, chills, fatigue, nausea, fever and muscle aches. These can last anywhere from a few hours to a week. The nurse who gave me my first shot said she had a headache for 2 weeks. Yikes.
According to Dr. Karina Top, an infectious disease physician and vaccine expert, it is a sign that the immune system is getting revved up, triggering a response which will help your immunity if you are exposed to the actual covid virus out in your community. Dr. Top goes on to say that this is the largest adult vaccine campaign in Canada and many people are probably monitoring their own symptoms way more than if they got the regular flu shot. These temporary side effects are more common then with the flu vaccine.
A Twitter survey of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccine recipients showed that about 7% of Pfizer and 22% of the AstraZeneca shots resulted in side effects. Pfizer is an mRNA vaccine and AstraZeneca is a viral vector vaccine. Apparently we can expect a bit worse reaction after the 2nd dose of the Pfizer and less reaction from the 2nd dose of AstraZeneca….so opposite side effects.
An April report in the Lancet showed that those who got Pfizer, 13.5% showed at least one systematic side effect. The second dose of the Pfizer, 22% had a side effect.
There is no way to determine who will get side effects and who won’t. Dr. Top stated that they do see women being more likely to have a reaction, and younger people were also more likely to have a reaction.
Not having a strong immune reaction does not mean the vaccine did not do anything for you. The clinical trials show that nearly everybody, after 2 doses, had virtually 100% protection against severe Covid, hospitalization and death from Covid regardless of which vaccine you got.
So….sign up….get your vaccine. It most likely will save your life and the lives of people you come into contact with.