I’m Vaccinated

Early pandemic meme from March of 2020.

I heard a joke that the biggest side effect of being in a COVID vaccine clinical trial is the inability to stop talking about being in a COVID vaccine clinical trail. Last week I got a call from the Kaiser clinical trial folks letting me know that the shots I got back in September were a placebo. They offered to give me the vaccine this Monday and I took them up on the offer.

By Monday evening I had a sore arm and the next day I had moderate flu-like symptoms that lasted around 12 hours. Around noon on Tuesday I just needed to lay down and watch dumb TV for the rest of the day. I woke up on Wednesday feeling back to normal if a little tired. The discomfort was a small price to pay, in my opinion, for helping stop the spread of COVID.

When I got the call last week I went through a few phases of emotion. First was a sense of hope that this pandemic will end someday. Then I had worries that I’ve forgotten what it’s like to leave the house and see people. Then I realized that the fatiguing risk management that we all do on a daily basis isn’t over yet. Having had open heart surgery not all that long ago, Kelly is vulnerable to COVID and we have no idea when she’ll be able to get the vaccine. I can’t resume normal activities until more people are vaccinated. Vaccines are a we not me thing.

I’m still in the clinical trial. They will continue to monitor my blood for antibodies for the next two years and I check in every week via an app to report any possible COVID symptoms. Lastly, I want to thank the nurses and doctors who run the vaccine trial at Kaiser for their work, dedication and kindness.

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  1. Ha! I just got a notification from Pfizer that they didn’t need me for their trial.

    Sorry you had a rougher go of it. I got one Moderna shot and only a sore arm so far. My daughter, the ICU nurse who’s gotten both Pfizer shots, found the second one a much rougher ride. Still, it was just about 24 hours and we’re ALL so relieved to know she has what protection is available.

    Going into Covid wards for about a year before the vaccine is about as close to playing Russian Roulette as any of us ever hope for again!

  2. Congratulations on getting the vaccine! My husband is in the Johnson and Johnson trial and has his first shot and goes for his second soon. Yes, they are doing two shots for this part of the trail despite news that it is a one shot vaccine. He’s hoping he will find out like you did so he knows sooner than later if he needs to get the other vaccines.

    Hopefully Kelly can get hers soon, too! Being a heart patient, shouldn’t that make her 1B? (Or at least 1B here in Texas, I’m seeing different states have different categories).

    Some of my inlaws are now fully vaccinated, some are partially, and my parents are still waiting. And now I have some friends who are high risk with appointments today and on Monday. I’m antsy! I want one, too!

  3. I started reading your blog and came to the phrase “Last week I got a call from the Kaiser…”. Of course (even as a Canadian) I knew that you meant Kaiser Permanente but, just for a moment, I thought you were communicating with Kaiser Wilhelm II, who died in 1941. The brain (or at least MY brain) plays funny tricks!

    • Ha ha. I should have spelled that out. There’s a local non-profit that does wonderful work for the homeless called LACAN (LA Community Action Network) and every time I see their acronym in print I assume it’s about the psychologist/philosopher. Thanks to you now, when I see the doctor I’m going to think of the dude in the pointy helmet.

  4. Excellent. As a health care provider, I have had round 1 of the Moderna vaccine. I had a couple of good days that I thought it was a cake walk, then a good ten days of very minor muscle weakness and a hyperactive immune system. I had ultra-low grade reactions to everything my body things I shouldn’t be eating anyways: anything made out of wheat. Then all of that subsided just it time for Round 2 next week. I’m not exactly looking forward to it at this point, but I will be relieved when it is over! Like you, nothing will actually change in our household until we’re all vaccinated, which is going to take quite awhile.

    • Glad you are getting the vaccine–I can’t imagine how stressful it is to be a health care worker right now. Stay safe.

  5. I had my second Moderna shot today. My only reaction so far has been a slightly sore arm and a great sense of relief. The nurse who gave me the shot was a real pro.
    He did tell me that I may not feel very good for a few days. I can handle that.
    I want to protect myself, but I must also protect my 91-year-old mother, as her doctor says that she is too frail for a Covid vaccination.
    I will continue to follow all recommended public health measures.

    • That’s part of the reason these studies are being done. Eventually we’ll need new versions of the vaccine as the virus mutates. I’ve heard that it will not be an every year thing for the Covid vaccine but in several years we’ll definitely need another shot.

  6. Thank you to everyone who continues follow the health protocols after being vaccinated. The vaccine doesn’t mean it is safe to go about unmasked like before; it means your mask is now very, very effective.
    The vaccine will help, but it won’t completely stop covid.

  7. Vaccines are a we thing, not a me thing.

    This is one of the best things I’ve seen today. I want to shout it from the rooftops. Thanks, Erik. <3

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