My experience having the COVID vaccine

Hello all, I can’t believe we’re half way through March already, it feels like Christmas was yesterday! But I actually have something to update you on! I’ve had my COVID vaccine!

For a little bit of background into why I was offered it so quickly; I was born with a heart condition – this dosen’t affect me in day to day life but it does make me more susceptible to infections, basically my body has to work harder to fight infections off. This is why I have the annual flu jab every year.

So on Wednesday 17th Feb, I received a text from my doctor saying that I had been invited to have my COVID vaccination and was given a link to book my jab online.

On the booking portal I had a choice of three days the following week, with a number of time slots, I chose February 25th 2021 at 2:40pm.

I arrived at the vaccination centre and was directed where to go by a number of masked socially distanced people wearing hi-vis jackets. I was given hand sanitiser on arrival and told to queue up on the large socially distanced floor markers to get to the check-in desk.

After 5 minutes I had arrived at the desk and gave the lady behind the screen my name, she checked me in and handed me a COVID vaccination leaflet which included all the info about the jab and listed any common side affects. I was also given a vaccination card with my vaccination batch number on it and appointment date. It was here I was told what jab I would be receiving.

As far as I know in the UK we either have the pfizer jab or the astrazeneca jab. I was hoping for the pfizer just because from what I read this seemed to be the more reliable jab and people seemed to suffer less side affects, but obviously we get what we are given so I would have had either.

The lady behind the counter said ‘it’s the pfizer vacinncation today’ so it must just depend on what stock they have on the day as to which one you receive, but I was secretly pleased.

After receiving this paperwork I was directed to sit in one of the waiting area chairs, again all socially distanced at 2m apart. After around a 5-10 minute wait, I think it felt longer than it was; a masked woman in a hi-vis vest called me to follow her to the jab station.

Here I was seated 2m away from a masked woman on a computer, I handed my leaflets over to her and she entered the batch number into the computer against my name, well I think that’s what she was doing, she wasn’t very chatty, I don’t think she actually spoke at all, it was a little uncomfortable waiting for the nurse come to think about it.

The jabbing stations were setup like little tents, with three rows of around 5 jabbing stations. You couldn’t see next door but you could see oposite, similar to what it would be like in a hospital ward. From my station I watched an elderly man have his jab, it seemed painless and took less that a minute.

It was my turn, the nurse arrived, said hello and was already filling the injection with the pfizer solution (ignore my technical terms, you know what I mean ha) she asked me if I was allergic to anything, if I have had any injections in the last 7 days and if I was pregnant, all of which I replied no.

She then asked me to sit right back in the chair and relax my arm, the chair was setup for me to recieve my jab in my right arm, but I asked her to swap to my left side as I know from my annual flu jabs the dead arm feeling is not the best in the arm that you do everything with. Of course if your left handed, get it in your right ha.

I’m a fainter with injections, I don’t mind seeing them, I’m not particularly squeamish with blood or anything but for some reason whenever I have an injection I always go very light headed if I am not lied down when I receive it. This is something I usually request when getting my flu jabs at the doctors but obviously there wasn’t the facilities for me to be lied down to receive my covid jab.

I could tell the process was quick, as in – I couldn’t sit there for 10 minutes after my jab until the dizziness had passed so I was quite worried about this and mentioned this to the nurse before hand, but thankfully there was a designated waiting area setup for post vaccinations, just a little further along in the building (a quick enough walk to make it without passing out) phew!

They ask you to sit in this waiting are for 15 minutes as standard just in case you have any instant allergic reactions / bad side affects. Again all the chairs are socially distanced 2m apart. I can say that not one person had any bad reactions while I was there, I think there was just me with my head between my legs waiting for the dizzy spell to go away, I probably frightened people if they saw me, but that’s just me with any injections it only lasts 5-10 minutes and then I’m fine, so don’t let that put you off.

After 15 minutes, I headed out feeling fab, I was given some more hand sanitiser on my way out, and off I went home and back to work at my desk for the afternoon. I was only away for 1 hour and that included bad traffic to the vaccination centre.

I read online that you mainly get symptoms the following day but you can get them up to 7 days after your jab, so here’s my 7 day breakdown.

As you will be able to tell, I’ve waited a good few weeks to write this post, that’s just so I could give you the best information and note down any changes in side affects or how I am feeling in general.

PS: side affects do affect everyone differently, so there is nothing to say your body will react the same as mine, but I like reading people’s experiences, so here is my experience.

Day of the jab: No major side affects that day, later on in the evening my arm started to feel a little tender and heavy but nothing worse that the flu jab.

Day 1 after the jab: No major side affects. I booked the Friday off work just in case I felt under the weather but I was absolutely fine. The sore arm was nothing to really moan about, it was just a dull ache, if you have had a flu jab before you’ll know what I mean.

Day 2 after the jab: No major side affects. Just the dull ache in my arm remained. It’s irritating that you can’t sleep on it, and if you accidentally turn over onto in the night you know about it, but it’s definitely cope-able. I didn’t need any paracetamol or anything to sleep.

Day 3 after the jab: No major side affects. Dull ache in my arm starting to subside.

Day 4 after the jab: No major side affects. Dull ache in my arm completely gone. As the day went on I did start to have aching in my lower legs, like I have just done a leg day workout (I haven’t done a workout for quite a while haha and I’ve just had a long weekend off work, at home in a national lockdown watching Netflix, so I’m deffo putting it down to the jab)

Day 5 after the jab: No major side affects, legs were still quite achy all day today but nothing to really complain about.

Day 6 after the jab: No side affects at all. Aching in legs had completely subsided and I felt back to normal.

Day 7 after the jab: No side affects at all. Back to normal.

I hope you found this post helpful. If you are having your jab soon, hopefully it will ease your mind a bit that not everyone has side affects after receiving it.

** further update, my mum and her partner had their vaccinations a few weeks after mine, they both had AstraZeneca, my mum had no side affects at all but my mums partner felt very unwell in the evening and the following day (shakes, fever, aching, general unwell feeling) however a day later he was completely fine and back to normal too.

I think it really just depends on you as a person, rather than what jab you are given, but I’d love you to share your experiences with me.


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