Side Effects

During the briefing before they gave us the AstraZeneca vaccine, we were told we might have fever and chills. The literature was more explicit in saying half the innoculees would experience such. I thought that since I had passed the night uneventfully, I was in the other half. So I dashed off my previous article joyously early in the morning and thought no more of it; it turns out I was wrong.

I started feeling feverish during my morning meeting, with a cloud of malaise slowly descending. By lunchtime, it was pretty clear where my body was heading. I took a paracetamol as directed and crawled into bed to wait out the course of the side effects.

All told, it wasn’t so bad. The fever hovered at around 37 degrees, and fairly consistently throughout. Enough to make me want to sleep, but not enough to make me uncomfortable. There were also some joint pains and the injection area felt stiff and bruised. I felt that way through the evening and the next day. As if on schedule, the fever lifted during lunchtime of Saturday.

Armed with this experience, I started keying in my eligible friends for the next vaccination sites and schedules. With all the traditional and social media at its disposal, the city government ought to be able to organize its announcements of the when and where; but as it is, all I’ve ever had to go on was the whisper network of other concerned friends. It is what it is, so I say just roll with it.

But you know what they say about good intentions. One friend was pretty vocal about the vaccine rollout, bellyaching about how political supporters were getting ahead of the line with advance info. But now that I was telling them where to go, up came the self-imposed barriers. “Oh, that’s too far!” “Oh, that place is Covid central!” “Oh, I have meetings today!” “What? They’re demanding written doctor’s certification? Can’t I just present my prescription?” Sigh. If you really want it. Just. Go.

My wife E– got vaccinated last Wednesday. As a husband, I earned serious brownie points by lining up for her outside the mall at 4am (and even then I wasn’t the first, several senior citizens were ahead of me). After two hours, I got a stub for her to present for entry later that afternoon. It still took her four hours of waiting to complete the process, but at least it was in the mall and without a lot of uncertainty.

E– got Sinovac, for which general consensus indicates is much milder and with very little side effects. E– said she got very hungry afterwards, but I’m not sure if it was because of the vaccine or the waiting.