Yep – you guessed it, I got my 3rd COVID-19 vaccine shot (booster) Friday. Yeah! I am excited. Some mental relief. And everyone is asking – what are the side effects?
Let’s start with WHY I got the booster. Multiple reasons:
- I am a world traveler and many countries (like Israel) are already requiring the booster shot to be obtained if your last vaccination was administered more than 6 months ago.
- Immunity degrades over time, even if you had been infected with COVID-19 and recovered. The challenge everyone faces, include the best doctors is nobody can definitively state when the immunity will degrade and the person is it at risk again.
- I am not a doctor, not a medical expert. I will not become an expert just by reading blogs or watching videos. The world experts recommend and guide us and I rely upon on those trained experts and not my own opinions or reading.
- I was vaccinated and I got infected with COVID-19 despite being an avid and aggressive masker, worked from home and stayed socially distant from almost everything. My symptoms were mild, but very present and I am strongly convinced they were only mild and manageable because I was vaccinated.
- The next wave of infections and potential variants is growing again. My risk of infection from another variant is statistically increasing.
- We are starting to go back to the office, perform business travel, visit restaurants, shop and be entertained. We are not as socially distant as we were a year ago.
- Given the above, I really do not want to increase the risk of dying. The global statistics are crystal clear, my best odds to avoid death due to COVID-19, is to remain vaccinated and boosted whenever needed.
Now, I would like to share another story. I have not needed to visit or get treatment in an emergency room for a decade (being thankful of course).
But two weeks ago, I had such painful back muscle spasms after a lifting and twisting mistake, I was almost paralyzed in pain and could not walk or stand. I had to be wheeled into the ER (emergency room) and get some emergency treatment. I was worried I had a ruptured disc.
The wait was so long, I was in pain sitting in the wheelchair. The only way they could see me if I was willing to sit in a hallway for my exam and treatment. There were not going to be any exam rooms available. The unvaccinated COVID-19 patients were filling up every possible space. Even a young girl who had a broken leg and needed a cast had to be treated in a hallway with everyone watching because there were no rooms because they were all filled with infected patients.
I am VERY thankful for the great care at Overlake hospital, but it was scary and equally painful to see how frustrated and burned out the nurses were from all the unvaccinated patients filling every room in the ER with COVID-19.
I wish I could have left and not risk getting infected, but I needed care so badly, I had no choice. My treatment center for over 4 hours.
Hint: Yes everyone, not getting vaccinated is hurting other people.
Yes, I know the side effects are not pleasant for some and it is uncomfortable, but lets talk about that next. If interested and doing your research on vaccine side effects, check out my posting on my second vaccine shot about 7 months ago with my side effects and how I handled it.
Here is the good news from my latest shot:
- It took almost 6-7 hours before my arm actually got sore. It is not very sore to the touch. It is mainly just a little uncomfortable to move around. I do not recommend any sporting activities 24-48 hours after the shot. I also might recommend to receive the shot in the arm that is not your primary/dominant arm and hand.
- It took almost 8-9 hours before I started to feel the slight hints of extra fatigue,
- No fever, no increased temperature.
- No aches, pains or joint inflammation.
- After a good’s night rest, I felt mostly normally and maybe a slight headache like you might feel from a mild hangover from the night before.
- 24 hours later, my arm soreness has 90% disappeared.
I am really pleased to say that each subsequent vaccine shot seems to have less side effects that the previous based on my experience and observation. Do not be afraid. It is OK. It is worth the mild hangover the next day for the safety and protection it offers.
Summary: I hate to say it and I know it will bother some people, but looking forward for the next few years, I believe the reality is the majority of the population are going to need to have semi-annual or at least annual COVID-19 vaccinations to remain safe, maintain employment and have access to various sites, events, travel and entertainment.