Today, I received the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.
This was provided by my work. I am a Certified Medical Assistant on the front lines, receiving the first wave of the vaccine, phase 1a. The clinic has a Respiratory Clinic (or RC as we like to call it). We see patients that have Covid symptoms or those who have been exposed, after a careful screening process, or triage. I work there on Wednesdays when my regular family practice provider is out of the clinic. On the RC side, we wear all the PPE: gowns, shields, N95’s, and gloves. On the family practice side, it’s just scrubs and a surgical mask. We do what we can to protect ourselves, it was all that we had.
Until now, we had been unsure of the future. Until now, we hadn’t seen an end in sight. Until now, we had no vaccine. Until now.
I’ve been logging my symptoms carefully, in order to share with you my experience with the vaccine. Perhaps this will make things a little less scary and a little less mystifying.
On December 28th of the year 2020, at exactly 1:23 pm (PST), I received the vaccine in my right deltoid. This was done by a fellow medical assistant. After a careful process of cleansing my skin with an alcohol prep pad, the vaccine was injected, and Band-Aid placed afterwards, as standard. Like most vaccines, I barely felt the injection (as it should when provided by a competent, trusted professional). No microchip.
Immediately after the vaccine was administered, I resumed my duties at work. This was family practice day, so just scrubs and a mask. My job is to room patients, take vitals, bandage wounds, administer vaccines, etc. Busy day. A good day to test a vaccine’s effects.
My side effects/symptoms are as follows:
- 1:35pm: Is that a hot flash? Temp: 97.7 F
- 1:48pm: Some R arm soreness. Pain 1/10.
- 2:23pm: Definite arm soreness. Pain 3/10.
- 2:38pm: Maybe some nausea?
- 3:24pm: Nah. Chocolate! Nom nom nom!
- 4:09pm: Oww!!! Was I stabbed??? Hurts to lift R arm. Pain 4/10. Temp 98.3 F
- 5:03pm: Chills?
- Drove home, no issue driving. Could see the road just fine (although dark already, good ol’ PNW)
- 7:53pm: Fatigue. Way more tired than normal. Yawning and want to be cozy.
- 8:05pm: lower back ache. R arm hurts a LOT. Pain 5/10. Temp 99.8 F.
This is when the symptoms really started.
- My R arm hurts, but my L shoulder is aching now, too.
- Lifting my R arm above navel level makes me whine. Pain 6/10.
- Knees and ankles aching. R middle finger painful and numb. Weakness when writing, especially because of the middle finger. I can feel inflammation extending from R mid neck down to the tip of my R middle finger.
- There’s a buzzing sensation all throughout my body; although that could be the quad shot mocha I had earlier…
- 8:14pm: onset of malaise/fatigue. Waves going down my legs. Feeling cold. Still whining with lifting arm.
- 8:43pm: Body aches, fatigue. Temp 99.4 F.
- 9:04pm: R elbow sore. Chills. Not quite nausea, but tummy something. Bloated/empty? Hungry for dinner, most likely.
- 9:57pm: after dinner. Temp 99.3 F. Body aches and chills.
- 10:19pm: getting ready for bed. Temp 99.9 F. R arm possibly a little less sore. Maybe 5/10.
That night I sweat fairly heavily, although no weird dreams that I could recall. Occasionally woke up with R arm aching, otherwise slept well. Glad I got the vaccine in the opposite arm that I sleep (side sleepers, this means you!).
- 5:48am: R arm a little less sore, temp 98.8 F. Body aches and chills gone. Pain 3/10.
- Nothing of note throughout the day, possibly some mild fatigue, but worked just fine.
- 10:48pm: temp 98.6 F. R arm 1-2/10, like a healing bruise. Some muscle stiffness on R neck, very mild. Most other symptoms gone.
What did I notice?
Really, the worst of it was the arm soreness. I didn’t take any pain relievers as I wanted to see what effects I would notice. Tylenol would have probably solved most of the discomfort.
I’ve felt worse after a night of sleeping on the floor, but that’s another story.