Getting The Covid 19 Vaccine?

Covid 19 vaccine - A medical professional wearing a t-shirt which reads This is the way beside a image of a syringe
My Cousin Irene in Vaccinator mode

If you’re not sure whether or not to have the covid 19 vaccine when it’s offered this might give you some clarity. My partner and I got our invites recently and decided to go for it after a lot of thought. We’d been on the fence, if anything swaying towards not getting the jab. So what made us take the plunge?

First of all it’s only fair to mention that the covid 19 vaccine we were given was the Astrazeneca one. There had been some controversy over this vaccine as we got our invitations to be injected with it. Reports of blood clots and other side effects had even led to some European countries pausing their rollout of it. That’s one of the things that put us off rolling up our sleeves. The other is a little more complex and surrounds the whole question of freedom.  

Covid 19 Vaccine – The Side Effects

On the side effects question I’m in the lucky position of having a cousin who is a professor of medicine in Canada and is currently a volunteer vaccinator. On our weekly family Zoom’s she has satisfied us all that the benefits outweigh the risks. Longer term studies on those vaccinated in the USA have been published very recently and offer further positive stats. It’s just my luck that I was one of the estimated 1 in 10 that experience some side effects. My partner had none.

If the possibility of side effects are putting you off getting the covid 19 vaccination there is plenty of information available on what those might be. Here’s what I experienced personally. After getting the completely painless jab – didn’t even realize it had been done – at 11.15 am I felt fine. We went shopping before driving home. For the rest of the day I felt very slightly light headed. 

Shivers and Shakes

But as I got ready for bed at around 11pm I suddenly had a bout of shivers and shakes. It was quite disturbing. I wrapped myself in the duvet and the shakes soon subsided to be replaced with a high temperature. This was followed by a nagging headache and joint pains in my back and legs. I can best describe it as like the beginnings of a flu. The symptoms lasted all night and I don’t think I slept a wink. Consequently I felt like a train wreck the next day which I spent in bed. By that evening I felt better and the next day perfectly fine. 

Some people will experience less or more side effects from the covid 19 vaccine – or any vaccine for that matter – but most will experience none. This vaccine needs a booster in 12 weeks so I may have the same problems with it. I still think its a small price to pay for what seems to be a very effective way to avoid getting and spreading the coronavirus. 

The Freedom Debate

The other side of the coin is the debate around personal freedom. Over the last year we have endured unparalleled restrictions on our freedom for the common good. Some would argue that being pressured into having an injection by the state is one step too far. Again my partner and I sympathise with that argument. No one is being legally forced to be vaccinated at the moment. But there has been talk of vaccine passports and certificates without which travel and socialising will be curtailed. 

At the end of the day, we reasoned, we are in unprecedented times here. This pandemic has changed our world forever and if we ever want to have anything like the kind of freedom we were once used to, extreme measures have to be taken. If we stay locked down, socially distanced and isolated we will all go mad and bankrupt. When vaccines prove to be effective – and everything seems to be pointing that way – then what choice is there? If Big Brotheresque policies like vaccine passports come into being we will have to decide as individuals if sacrificing one type of freedom for another is worth it. 

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