Home General Info & Awareness Coronavirus Vaccination : What To Expect & My Experience

Coronavirus Vaccination : What To Expect & My Experience

by InvisiblyMe
A photo of a nurse wearing scrubs and white gloves, sat at a white table where we just see their upper body and gloved hands. A needle is in the left hand and a vial is on the table. Below is the post title: Coronavirus Vaccination. What to expect and my expect.

As the Covid19 vaccine rollout continues in earnest worldwide, many people are starting to wonder whether they want to vaccinated and what to expect if they do. While the process varies between and within countries, this post is just to give you an idea of what happens from the point of contact about your coronavirus vaccination and what my experiences of the first Pfizer vaccine have been.

The UK Coronavirus Vaccination Programme 

I’m in the JCVI group 6, which is for the 16-64 year olds with chronic underlying conditions putting them at greater risk of coronavirus. I have a few chronic conditions, but the ones that put me at risk are, I believe, the lung disease (bronchiectasis, lung scarring and inflammation) and autoimmune disease. I also have the likes of fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, ME/CFS, and so on.

I’ve written previously about how some people may find they’re no longer in the group 6 list, particularly those with ‘controlled’ asthma. While the government urges people not to contact their GP to see when they’ll be called up, if you feel you’re at risk and should have been in the priority group, then keep in mind that doctors do have some discretion as to who can be added to the lists because the issue of underlying conditions is not clear cut.

Vaccine programmes are getting underway around the world and all countries have slightly different goals taking precedence and different ways of organising the rollout. In the UK, priority groups are being called forward in sequence and instead of a 21 day gap between the first and second doses, there will be a 3 month wait, a move that has caused a lot of controversy. 

Within England, all counties and vaccination centres will operate slightly differently. As of mid February 2021, it’s said that 1 in 3 adults in the UK have received their first dose of a vaccine and the goal is to offer this first dose to all adults by 31st July 2021. This post is just to give you an idea of what to expect if you’ve not yet had your vaccination.

A close up of gloved hands holding a Covid19 vaccine vial and inserting a needle to prep it for vaccination.

Being Contacted For Your Coronavirus Vaccination

I received a text message to say my vaccination was due, with a link to the book this online. There was no telephone number given, only an email address. If I didn’t book online then somebody would call me in the next few days to book my appointment. Because the initial contact was by mobile, it’s important that your GP practice has your mobile number if you have one. If not, ensure your home number and house address are correct and up-to-date so you don’t miss any correspondence. 

My parents had a slightly different experience as they have a different GP surgery to me, and theirs was operating in conjunction with three other practices, with a different one tasked with overseeing the vaccination programme’s organisation. They were given a link to book online and a telephone number, however only my mother received the initial text message. The first message said they’d hear about booking their vaccination within the next two weeks, but two days later she received the text to book. With my dad not receiving the initial text, he had a telephone call the next day and I was able to get my mum and dad conveniently scheduled at the same time.

Unfortunately, my email to the address provided in the text went unanswered but I was eventually able to get the website to proffer up an appointment. Once booked, I received a confirmation text. The website allows you to rebook your appointment, but in the case of this specific system you had to cancel your current appointment first. It’s a bit frustrating to have no immediate way to contact anybody either about booking the appointment itself or for any queries about what happens on the day. Booking online saves the staff and volunteers considerable time having to call more patients, but if you’re unsure of using the link or booking straight away then you can wait for a phone call. Obviously those without the means of using the Internet will need to wait for a phone call. 

My parents also received letters in the post telling them that their vaccinations were due, which seemed like a waste as they arrived a week after they had theirs done. Still, as long as your details on with your GP practice then you should hear through one or all of these methods and not have to worry about missing anything by mistake. 

On The Day : Arrival & Check In

I went to a fire station in Gloucestershire for my vaccination. At the entrance to the building there was a someone to greet patients. They’ll check that you’re wearing a mask and have an appointment, give you a squirt of hand sanitiser, and usher you forwards. 

A sign in the coronavirus vaccination centre on a piece of laminated A5 paper. It reads "please remove your coat if possible. Have your arm ready for vaccination. Thank you". There's a cartoon bare arm underneath.
This sign at the vaccination centre made me chuckle. I’ll remove my coat when hell freezes over. Even just looking at that bare arm makes the blood in my veins cold.

Once inside, there were four computers set up with staff manning them for patients to sign in. You’ll be asked to confirm your name, date of birth and address so they can register your arrival. You’ll be asked to confirm your ethnicity and respond to a few queries around whether you’re a carer, reside in a care home, and so on. Once signed in, I waited in the main queue, which was well spaced with 2m between each person. To keep as much space in the area as possible, people are asked to attend alone unless they need someone, like a carer, with them. I was able to go in with my parents, which I was very glad of, but I attended my own vaccination alone. 

Where I was, there were tents set up like you’d find in an army camp. There are 6 pods, and staff work in teams of two, one to give the jab and the other to do the laptop work. This set-up has the capacity to work 12 hour shifts and vaccinate 7,000 people each week, though the numbers of how many have been vaccinated here isn’t known. 

Getting Your Jab

The queue went down reasonably quickly as the jabs are typically quite speedy to administer. You’ll go to the pod and take a seat as the two-person team checks your details and finds you on their system. The vaccinator will ask a few questions to check the vaccination is safe and suitable. For instance, whether you’ve got any known allergies and whether you’ve had the flu vaccination in the past week. This will be fairly straightforward for most people. 

A close up photo of a bare arm at the top by the shoulder and a nurse with clear plastic gloves holding the arm. With her other hand she's injecting the arm.

My Experience : A Small Hiccup

My mother is allergic to penicillin but no further questions were asked. I, on the other hand, had a lovely lady as the volunteer vaccinator who asked a few extra questions, probing whether I’d had any allergic reactions to any kind of medication, over the counter product, IV drug and so on. I answered honestly: I’d had an allergic reaction previously to IV Buscopan when in hospital (which felt like I was about to have a heart attack and was incredibly scary). I’d also had an allergic reaction to a type of antibiotic.

Both things are apparently quite common and I’ve never had any other types of allergies or reactions, but the vaccinator didn’t want to take any risks. She spoke to another nurse, then a doctor. After about 10 minutes of to-and-fro, she came back and asked me to get something in writing from my doctor to say they thought I was suitable for the vaccination. I panicked – How on earth am I going to get that right now? I hated the idea of having to come back another day.

I escaped the tent to make room for other people to have their jabs done and went into the main area where everyone’s sat patiently waiting to ensure they’re okay after their jabs. I called the GP reception and impressed upon them the urgency of speaking to a doctor as I was standing staring at a fire truck, my hips on fire and feeling mightily embarrassed. Thankfully a doctor came to the phone within a few minutes minutes and said sure, he’ll say it should be fine! 

I went back around to the beginning to queue again. My doctor had popped the note in a text but at the end of it said “ultimately it’s for the vaccinator to take responsibility”. D’oh! I saw the same woman as before and she seemed placated by what he’s said, until she got to the last line. More back and forth to other doctors, another 15 minutes passing… I said I was happy to take the vaccination and didn’t think it would be a problem, which the doctor on the phone concurred with.

A very friendly French doctor took over to give the jab so that he could watch over me in case things went horribly wrong. Apparently the reactions I’ve had previously are contraindications for the Pfizer vaccine, though I’d never heard of this before.

After Your Jab

Long story short, needle was in and out in seconds without any bother whatsoever. I went over to sit for 15 minutes, having to park my derrière close to the tent so Mr Nice French Doctor could keep an eye on me, which was very reassuring.

I wasn’t concerned about having the vaccination until all this palaver and suddenly I started to get a bit twitchy. Fortunately I had another thing to worry about to take my mind of whether the jab would send me into a sudden heart attack – my bloody parking ticket was going to run out! 

You’re asked to wait for 15 minutes after your jab. Where I was, this was fairly well spaced out, with chairs dotted in rows in the middle of the large room. There was a plastic sheet on each chair showing ‘I’m clean’ that you take off when you sit, then put it back on the other way around showing ‘I’m dirty’ when you leave so that the chair can be cleaned afterwards. 

Time up, I ambled out and back to my car, being 4 minutes over the ticket, and drove home, sending up a silent prayer that the car park’s ANPR camera team would take pity on vaccination patients (yeah, right!).

The vaccinator will give you a leaflet and a vaccination card to say you’ve had your jab. Make sure to keep these safe. On that card is a space for the confirmation and date when you have the second dose. I wasn’t given a date for the second dose and neither were my parents – our area apparently isn’t pre-booking second doses for patients, which is where concerns are being raised as to whether patients are really guaranteed that follow-up vaccine by 12 weeks. Other counties do seem to be pre-booking the second dose so patients know before they leave when they need to return, so it appears to vary by location.

A collage of two photos showing the Covid19 Vaccination Card given at the appointment. The top photo shows the front of the card, which advises you keep the card in your purse/wallet. The second is the back of the card, with spaces for the name of the vaccine, batch number and date given of both doses.

Any Side Effects?

I’ll be honest here, I’d expected any side-effects to happen the day after the jab, if at all. I’ve been so focused on ensuring my parents got vaccinated and were okay afterwards that I hadn’t thought about my own. It came as a surprise then when less than two hours after I got back home I started to feel pretty tired. My arm felt heavy, but the soreness didn’t start until perhaps 4 hours later, at which point I couldn’t lift my injected arm very much. 

By 5 hours later, a level of tiredness hit me full-frontal like being body-slammed the Sandman as he tries to pull down my eye lids. After a little sit down with a cuppa tea, I forced myself into town to run errands and pick up prescriptions just in case the next day, Saturday, I wasn’t up to it. When I came home I felt totally zonked out and exhausted, which lasted most of the evening.  I have ME/CFS and fibromyalgia, but I’m lucky in that the Tramadol I take for chronic pain seem to offset the exhaustion a little. They did nothing for me post-vaccination, and the tiredness wasn’t just with my body but with feeling incredibly sleepy. Any time I blinked I felt like I might fall asleep, even walking down the stairs. It made me feel a little more rough and headachy than usual, with a heavy dose of nausea swinging by for a visit, too.

This eased off by the next day so I was back to ‘baseline’ fairly quickly, if this tiredness was indeed directly related to the vaccine. 99.9% of the time I feel like hell so it wasn’t much worse than usual. I wish I’d actually listened to my body and rested that day though. Learn from my mistakes.

There was a soreness in my upper arm for about 3 days, but the first 12 hours were the most intense, and I really wasn’t bothered at all by it; I’ve dealt with a lot, lot worse than not being able to lift my arm up for a couple of days. And that was all I really had to deal with, making me quite lucky.

My parents are in their 70s and had soreness in their arms at the site of injection also, mirroring my experience. However, they had no other side-effects, no tiredness or headaches or anything of note.

The vaccines will affect everyone differently but the scientists remind us that side-effects show that your body is responding and your immune system is acknowledging the vaccine. It does’t, however, indicate that no side-effects are the sign of the vaccine not working. People just respond differently. 

A vaccination between a woman and a nurse. An elderly woman is sat wearing a mask with her sleeve up as a nurse prepares to inject a Covid19 / coronavirus vaccine.
Please note this is not me in the photo. I would never wear a t-shirt in winter. Ever.

Vaccination Takeaways 

  • Doctors do have some discretion when it comes to adding people to the at-risk priority lists. If you feel you should be in group 6 but haven’t been contacted, it may be worth speaking to your doctor. Some charities are also offering advice and letter templates for contacting your medical professional to help lobby your case, so you could also check relevant charity website and social media accounts for further support. For instance, the ME Association has a template letter here to send to your doctor.

  • Tell the vaccinator about any and all allergies and reactions you’ve had, even if you don’t think they’re relevant. Write a list if you think you’ll forget. If you have quite a few common allergies or have had a serious allergic reactions in the past, especially with any anaphylaxis, you might want to speak to your doctor first to enquire whether the vaccine is safe and suitable for you to take. If they say yes, it might be an idea to ask them to write a letter or send a text to put that into writing for the vaccinator on the day. 

  • Wear clothing you can easily remove or tug down to bare your upper arm. No latex gimp suits or Spiderman onesies.

  • Build flexibility into your days around your vaccination, including the same day, just in case you experience side-effects. This is particularly important if you need to drive and experience tiredness.

  • If you’re also having the flu jab, speak to your doctor. The vaccinator asked me if I’d had the flu jab in the past week, so it may be best not to have the two close together. 

  • Ensure your GP practice has your contact details, including mobile number if you have one. Make sure your home telephone and postal address are correct and up to date so that you don’t miss any communications about your vaccination.

  • Everyone responds to vaccines differently in terms of side-effects. I’m obviously not a doctor but common side-effects are a known sign your immune system is responding, which is good, but if you have any concerns then speak to your doctor, especially if symptoms linger for several days.

  • In the UK, you won’t know what brand of vaccine you’ll be given until the day as most centres don’t know what stock they’ll have. Patients are not given a choice. As of February 2021, patients will receive either the Oxford-AstraZeneca or BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine, though more brands have been pre-ordered by the government for future use. 
A black scroll divider.

I personally feel we are very fortunate to be in the 21st century with the technological, scientific and manufacturing advances to be making a vaccine rollout like this possible. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and feelings about the vaccine, but it helps to know that you’re among many people worldwide also receiving theirs. Hopefully this is a glimmer of light towards the Covid-free future we’re all keeping our fingers crossed for.

Caz  ♥

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doublegenealogytheadoptionwitness February 27, 2021 - 4:57 pm

Wonderfully told tale! Here in Chicago, in the bitterest of cold, the hospital finally got supplied, such that on my day, there were hordes of patients, mostly old or compromized, looking for parking spots – I found one on tier 9. Due to the cold, the elevator bank was mostly down, so chose to walk down 8 flights instead of waiting in a lobby full of potentially sick people. The climb back after the shot, which only left me feeling odd for a couple of days, was more tedious. There are so many shots – there will be so many stories!

InvisiblyMe March 1, 2021 - 4:08 pm

You’re right, there’ll certainly be a lot of stories! It’s not the best time for this sort of thing when it’s so cold, is it? I’m sorry you had such a trek, but I would have done the same as you and tried to avoid as many people as possible. I hope your vaccination gives you the best possible protection ???? xx

salsaworldtraveler February 27, 2021 - 5:24 pm

Congratulations! Thanks for sharing your experience. I had side effects with the second Pfizer dose. Stay safe and well. John

InvisiblyMe March 1, 2021 - 4:35 pm

I saw that on your blog. I think many people, myself included, would have thought side-effects would be less likely with the second dose, so it’s good to be mindful that they can still happen. I hope you’re feeling back to your old self now and that your vaccinations give you good protection against the virus! ????

johnrieber February 27, 2021 - 5:25 pm

I’ve got a ways to go before I get to have my shot, so this was a terrific primer on what to do – and to avoid – when my time comes! Glad it went well, hope you don’t get a parking ticket!

InvisiblyMe March 1, 2021 - 4:37 pm

I hope you don’t have too long a wait, but I’m glad that over there the doses have been kept at 21 days. It’ll be something to look forward to ???? Glad the post gave you an idea of what to expect!

Despite Pain February 27, 2021 - 5:30 pm

Thanks for such detailed info about how the vaccination went. So far, I’m hearing of mixed experiences in regards to side effects. Some have had none at all, not even a sore arm, other people have felt the way you felt for a few days. I’m due to get mine on Monday. (Hopefully no traffic wardens in the vicinity!)
I am like you, I feel fortunate to be living in this age where scientists have been able to give us hope.

InvisiblyMe March 1, 2021 - 5:08 pm

You’re right, there’s certainly a lot of variety as to what side-effects, if any, people experience. While they’re actually a good thing, obviously bad side-effects/allergies are quite different. I hope your vaccination went as well as possible today & that you have minimal, short-lived side-effects, Liz  ♥ xx

Liz February 27, 2021 - 5:48 pm

Thank you for your post on this. I am always interested in other people’s experiences that have had it.

InvisiblyMe March 1, 2021 - 5:33 pm

You’re welcome, I hope it helps in giving an idea of what to expect. It’s definitely interesting reading how different the experiences are up and down the country, let alone in other countries. x

Phoebe February 27, 2021 - 6:05 pm

Brilliantly informative!

InvisiblyMe March 1, 2021 - 10:35 pm

Thanks, Phoebe – I’m glad you found it informative! I hope it can help those who’re waiting for their vaccinations ????

B February 27, 2021 - 6:45 pm

I got mine today. Feeling like shit now.

InvisiblyMe March 1, 2021 - 10:46 pm

Aww sorry you felt rough afterwards as well. How’re you holding up today?The effects seem to vary between people quite considerably, but hopefully they’re short-lived so you’re back to your usual self quickly, if you’re not already xx

Hope found in M.E. February 27, 2021 - 7:12 pm

So pleased to hear it went well, Caz, despite the hiccup. Well done you for getting that sorted pronto. That must have been a great relief. And good to hear your parents have been vaccinated too. Still trying to convince my mum to take it!

A great post on the detail. As you rightly say it’s a different experience for everyone. I’ll add a link to your post in my Covid Vaccination experience post, to give folk a nice broad view of the subject. I’ve been challenged twice on social media recently by antivaxxers. Groan, tedium! The more experiences of it and factual info folk can access to encourage folk to take the vaccine, the better. Hope you’re feeling a bit more rested now. Penny xxx

InvisiblyMe March 1, 2021 - 10:51 pm

Aw thanks, Penny! I’m sorry about your mum – is there anything in particular putting her off wanting to take one? It’s a tricky call if you’re older when there’s less of the already minimal study findings to go by, or if you have allergies. It’s the unknown, but thus far the rollout seems to be going okay without too many, if any, real horror stories, which is reassuring! You did brilliantly in sharing your experiences and it’s so interesting to hear how people get on both in terms of potential side-effects and the day itself.

I’ve only had one anti-vax comment thankfully, which was along the lines of ‘vaccines are death’. I don’t have the energy to fight those inane battles so well done if you fought the two challenges you had on social media! Here’s to hoping these modern medicine miracles can help the world turn a corner and put covid in the rearview finally ???? xx

annieasksyou February 27, 2021 - 7:48 pm

Well done, Caz. Very glad you and your parents got at least one shot; hope they straighten things out pronto so you get shot two sooner than anticipated. Pfizer is already talking about a third booster shot to combat variants.

Take good care!
Annie xxx

InvisiblyMe March 1, 2021 - 11:27 pm

It doesn’t look like the government is going to budge on the 3 week thing, despite calls from scientists and public petitions. It’s such a risky move with too much at stake. Hope you have a good week ahead, Annie – take good care & stay safe ???? xx

Smelly Socks and Garden Peas February 27, 2021 - 8:25 pm

Great news that you’ve had your first dose and its wonderful to read someone writing such good sense about how vaccines work. Side effects are a good thing, a sign your body is responding and reacting and learning about how to fight the vaccine and therefore also the virus. My husband has his AZ one yesterday and he’s feeling very similar to what your described. So glad he had it because if he’d had the virus he’d probably be feeling this and worse for days if not longer.

InvisiblyMe March 1, 2021 - 11:32 pm

Thanks lovely, I’m glad you liked the post and it’s great your hubby’s had his jab ???? Any ideas on when you might be called up? I hope the side-effects he gets are short-lived as mine were so that he’s back to baseline soon, if not already. You’re right, the effects of the virus could be much, much worse. xx

Raw Writings February 28, 2021 - 12:41 am

Great article, Caz, filled with important information! I hope to get the vaccine soon. Still waiting…



InvisiblyMe March 1, 2021 - 11:33 pm

Thanks, Tamararara. I hope you get your vaccination soon, too. Fingers crossed you won’t have too long to wait and that this year will finally put covid behind us ???? xx

Michele Anderson February 28, 2021 - 1:15 am

Thank you Caz for the wonderful information. My husband gets his first dose next Wednesday.

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 4:14 pm

I hope this post can give a general idea of what to expect – Good luck to your hubby for tomorrow, I hope his vaccination goes as smoothly as possible! xx

ignitedmoth February 28, 2021 - 3:01 am

Excellent and very informative post! <3 Thanks for sharing your experience. I'm glad you were able to get your jab! 😀
I just got the second dose (Moderna) this past week. My first dose I was very tired as well. The second dose had me tired the day of and then the whole next day I had sore muscles/joints, was very exhausted, and had a headache with mild waves of nausea that came and went. It was rough but the day after that I woke up feeling sooo much better. Definitely worth a day of feeling like absolute hell if it helps keep me and my community protected! 🙂

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 4:19 pm

Thanks lovely, I hope the post can help give others a rough idea of what they might expect when they get theirs. I’m so glad you’ve had your second dose already, that’s fantastic. Sounds like your second one had a bigger impact in terms of side-effects, and I’ve read other people experiencing the same. It’s strange, isn’t it? You’d imagine the first would be the worst for them. They’re a good sign though and as you say, as long as it’s short-lived then it’s a fantastic way to help protect ourselves and others and hopefully squash Covid19 for good (fingers crossed!) xx

Ogden Fahey February 28, 2021 - 12:48 pm

Whew – glad you came through it without too much discomfort – hope the follow up is non eventful ! <3

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 4:24 pm

Thanks lovely – I’m very grateful me and my folks have had the first dose, and hopefully the majority of the population will have had theirs before too long. I hope yours goes as well as possible too! ???? x

Looking for the Light February 28, 2021 - 9:29 pm

So glad you finally got your shot!!!!!!!! It must feel great. My doctor has me n the High Risk list but it just hasn’t been my turn yet. So glad you had no reactions to be concerned about. As you know everything we take has a possible down side. We have to weight the cost. Maybe I’ll get lucky and only have to do the one dose by the time they get to me. I’m just so tired of people bitching thinking they are so important they should go to front of the line. Get over it. People can be so ego driven. Also very glad to hear your parent got their’s too.

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 4:28 pm

I’m very grateful that my parents have had their first dose, and of course grateful for mine too to make it less likely I catch it and pass it onto them. I do wish the UK government would reconsider the 3 month gap but there we go. You’re right about the possible downsides and the fact that we just don’t know enough about the virus let alone the vaccines to adequately predict the outcomes. I hope you get called up for yours soon and that when you do, it goes as smoothly & safely as possible ???? xx

The Oceanside Animals February 28, 2021 - 11:32 pm

Lulu: “We’re very glad you got your vaccine! Dada says that we have to say ‘Nobody expects the COVID vaccination!’ in a Spanish accent and an emphasis on the last two words, but we don’t know why.”
Charlee: “Also, we aren’t sure what a latex gimp suit is. Let me just put that into Google and—”
Chaplin: “Dada says to stop typing right now, Charlee.”

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 4:36 pm

Hahahah ???? Sorry guys, I don’t think they make those kinds of suits for kittykats!

James Viscosi February 28, 2021 - 11:37 pm

Everyone I know who has gotten the shot has had some kind of reaction, some more than others. I’m glad yours didn’t last super long. I think when we finally get ours we’ll be planning for some major downtime, in particular after the second one …

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 5:11 pm

Everyone is different but I agree, most people seem to have some kind of reaction. I wonder if my parents only having the sore arm issue was due to their age. It’s interesting that many have more symptoms/worsened symptoms after the second dose. I hope you guys get yours soon and that the effects are likewise short-lived ???? Definitely worth pencilling in down time for the hours after the jab and a few days after to be on the safe-side. x

Ann Coleman March 1, 2021 - 1:40 am

My husband and mother have both had both of their injections, and neither had any reaction except for a sore arm. I’m hoping that will be the case with me, too, but I won’t get my mine for quite a while yet as I’m in the last group they’re doing.

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 5:30 pm

That’s great about your hubby & mum, and I’m glad they didn’t have anything other than a sore arm. Sounds like what my parents experienced, too. Not bad at all. The experience of the second dose seems to be more intense for a lot of people, judging by what I’ve read from other bloggers. I don’t know how that varies in the UK as it’s 3 months rather than 21 days after the first. I’m sorry you’ll have a little wait but hopefully it won’t be too long if the roll-out picks up a bit. xx

Ann Coleman March 4, 2021 - 2:23 am

I’ll be okay. Some states keep going down the “age limits” and I know that Indiana is now vaccinating those who are fifty and older. But in Missouri, they stop doing it by age at age 65, and then it is just your job and your race that counts. Seems kind of weird, but I can deal.

Animalcouriers March 1, 2021 - 10:02 am

Delighted you were able to have the jab! Over here in France the wait goes on and on…

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 5:32 pm

Thanks very much, I’m very grateful to have had it. The 3 month wait for the second dose is what’s speeding things through in the UK a bit, but whether that’ll mess everything up or not remains to be seen. I’m sorry thing in France are struggling so much. I hear they’ve now changed the advice so that the AstraZeneca vaccine will be given out freely to all, including the over 60s. I hope the roll-out picks up as soon as safely possible, and that you all get yours soon ???? xx

mentalhealth360.uk March 1, 2021 - 11:36 am

Thank you for this thorough and informative post Caz. I wasn’t sure what to expect and I wasn’t sure whether I was going to have the vaccination. You’ve put my mind at rest though, as I know of several (three) 70 years old who were hospitalised and passed away after having had the vaccine. They were previously fit and healthy, so that scared me a little 🙁

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 5:36 pm

I’m glad the post could be of some use, Caz. I’m so sorry about those individuals you knew who passed away, that’s awful. Do you know what it is they died of, what the cause was reported as? xx

Jaimie Christine March 1, 2021 - 4:17 pm

I got my first one February 16th and had no side effects besides a sore arm for 2 days. Getting my second one March 16th and so excited, but also nervous about feeling sick????

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 6:26 pm

That’s fantastic, Jaimie – I’m so glad you’ve had your first without any issue aside from the sore arm, which sounds like the experience my parents had. It’s great your second is quicker than the 12 week wait in the UK, so I hope it can give you the best protection possible without too many side-effects ???? Wishing you all the best for your second dose this month! xx

englishwithkirsty March 1, 2021 - 4:42 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience. I know there will be differences across how the regional centres are doing this, but it’s good to know what to expect.

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 6:29 pm

Thanks, Kirsty. Exactly – it’ll vary quite a bit but hopefully this can give a rough idea of what people can expect or to keep in mind. xx

chattykerry March 1, 2021 - 9:15 pm

That is a truly excellent post about the vaccine experience. I read recently that if you have a strong reaction to the first injection it is likely because your body has not been infected. Many of us will have been infected without realizing it – asymptomatic. Most folks around here have a similar reaction to you after the second vaccine. Johnston and Johnston have just been approved in the States – one jab and no freezers. That will be great for remote communities and tribal land. Congratulations on getting the first one!!! I feel a bit despondent here in Texas – our county has been haphazard about everything connected with the virus. It will be like buses – they will all arrive at once! Kx

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 10:38 pm

Aw thanks, Kerry, I’m really glad you liked the post. I’d not heard that about previous infection & the response to the vaccine, that’s interesting. I find it interesting too that the second dose often gives more/more intense side-effects for a lot of people, at least those whose experiences I’ve read online. It’s great about new vaccines coming in now that could be easier to store and transport, hopefully meaning more people and more countries will be able to take the rollout up a notch. I’m sorry Texas hasn’t been too great on the rollout, reminds me of our country! Fingers crossed they get into gear now, safely ramp up vaccinations and that things go more smoothly over the next few months ???? xx

Smithasbakelove March 1, 2021 - 9:20 pm

All the people I spoke say terrible arm pain sometimes to the extent of burning sensation. I hope you recovered and healthy now.

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 10:41 pm

It does seem to be particularly common. I didn’t find it burning personally, just an ache and heaviness but to the point where lifting my arm was difficult. Thankfully it’s short-lived and a small price to pay for – hopefully – some good protection from the virus. Thanks lovely, I’m all good now. I hope you get yours before too long and that you likewise fare well.xx

Svet Pavlovsky March 2, 2021 - 1:33 am

I am glad to hear that you received your vaccine and hopefully you will get the second one too soon. My fingers are crossed that the whole rollout of vaccine will improve here and around the world.

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 11:16 pm

Thanks, Svet. I hope you get yours soon, too, and that the rollout picks up speed safely & effectively as soon as possible. Here’s to hoping the vaccination drive will finally be able to put Covid in our review mirror before too much longer ???? xx

Lindsay March 2, 2021 - 4:33 am

Thank you for sharing your experience, Caz! I have a ways to go before it’s my turn, and reading your story will help me know what to expect when I get my first jab!

Sorry to hear about the fatigue after the jab. I hope that has improved.

So glad that you clarified that it isn’t you in that photo – the resemblance is spot on ????????

InvisiblyMe March 2, 2021 - 11:37 pm

Hahah I’m glad I pointed out the photo wasn’t of me, though I’m pretty sure this past year has aged me considerably ???? The extra fatigue improved really quickly thank you, back to normal exhaustion levels by the day after, and then the arm ache was another two days. A very small price to pay for hopefully protection against a serious virus. I hope the post can help suggest roughly what you might be able to expect, and with any luck the roll-out worldwide will pick up speed safely and get into the swing of things soon – hope you don’t have too much longer to wait, Linds xx

thelonelyauthorblog March 2, 2021 - 1:30 pm

Thank you for sharing this thoughtful post. You answered so many questions I had.
Have a beautiful and healthy week.

InvisiblyMe March 3, 2021 - 4:26 pm

I’m so glad the post helped to answer a few of those questions, Drew. My work here is done ???? I hope you get called up soon too, if you decide to have it that is. x

Christy B March 2, 2021 - 6:24 pm

Thanks for sharing your experience getting the jab, Caz. I have a few friends who have had it and they both felt tired afterward but other than that didn’t experience side effects. My dad hopes to get his later this month because of his age. Then, my mom will be between April and June. Take care xx

InvisiblyMe March 3, 2021 - 4:31 pm

It’s interesting to hear the different experiences people have, isn’t it? Tiredness seems to be pretty common, along with the arm ache. I hope your dad gets on well with his this month and that your mum doesn’t have too much longer to wait either ???? xx

indianeskitchen March 3, 2021 - 5:53 am

Thank you next week I get mine!

InvisiblyMe March 3, 2021 - 5:15 pm

That’s fantastic news – I hope it all goes as well as possible, Diane! ???? x

Laura Beth March 3, 2021 - 1:10 pm

Excellent post! I’m so glad you got your first dose. I have a friend who is a social worker for the NHS, and I think she should be getting her first dose soon. I received my first dose (Pfizer) on January 20th, and my second dose on February 11th. The second dose caused a large immune response, where I felt like I had the flu for 36 hours. But, it’s far better than being on a ventilator, or in the hospital without visitors, or dying!

InvisiblyMe March 3, 2021 - 5:19 pm

I’m glad you’ve had both of yours, Laura, that’s great! I’m sorry you had the effects you did after your second dose, though you’re not alone – I’ve read quite a few people now saying their second came with more significant effects than the first, which is odd as you’d imagine it would be the other way around. As you say, it’s a small price to pay to protect ourselves and those around us and to hopefully get the virus in our rearview mirror in the near future! I hope your friend in the NHS gets hers soon too xx

forresting365 March 4, 2021 - 2:48 am

Happy first dose-ing, Caz! LOVE that You called it “jabbing”. For the rest of my life, whenever I have to get a shot, I will think of You and that!!! ???? Good luck on Your second!!! My mom got the nausea thing also when I took her for her second shot. Not fun. Sending huge hugs Your way!!! ❤️❤️❤️

InvisiblyMe March 18, 2021 - 11:45 am

I’m sorry your mum had to deal with nausea too, not fun. Hopefully it was very short-lived and her second dose has given her the best protection possible. Good luck with any of your future jabbings, Katy! ???? xx

Gemma March 12, 2021 - 8:28 pm

Congrats on getting your first vaccine Caz! Thanks for such a thorough outline; while it’s amazing that we have the opportunity to have a vaccine, it doesn’t stop the whole process from being a bit nerve-wracking. I’m glad you didn’t experience major side effects and thanks for the pointer about wearing suitable clothing. I think I’m planning on wearing a cold-shoulder top (I knew they’d come in use one day, haha) to make the process easier. I’m definitely going to re-read this before I go for my vaccine to refresh my memory. Now feeling more reassured about it, so thank you!

Gemma x

InvisiblyMe March 18, 2021 - 12:01 pm

You’re right – it’s a privilege to be in the modern world with amazing advancements and incredible scientists to be here even thinking about a vaccination, but it can still be daunting. The cold-shoulder top is a great idea! I’ve not had one of those for years – I’m always so cold now so I ended up donating my two stripey ones that I loved. Damn, should have kept them! It’s good to get a little reassurance before doing something like this and it can be comforting to know that millions of people are in a similar boat. I hope you get called up for yours soon, Gemma, and that it goes as smoothly as possible ???? xx

Tenzin March 17, 2021 - 7:42 am

Hi there
I just want to say how much I loved your post on the Covid 19 vaccine. It’s wonderful to hear personal experiences and refreshing to see this written on a blog. It was really interesting the way that you took a stage by stage through your experiences and thoughts about the whole process. Thank you so much for sharing this it’s the first time I’ve seen a post of this nature and it was wonderful. I look forward to reading more from you. Best wishes Tenzin

InvisiblyMe March 18, 2021 - 12:03 pm

Aw thank you very much, Tenzin. I’m really pleased you liked the post – I thought it might be helpful for those who’re yet to be called up for their vaccinations, and it’s also quite reassuring for those who’ve had the first dose to see that they might have had similar experiences to someone else. Thanks again for your wonderful comment – take good care and I hope the rest of the week treats you kindly ????

Shell-Shell's????tipsandtricks August 1, 2021 - 7:25 am

I was exhausted after my shot and my body hurt. It kicked my butt, and I was tired for a week.

InvisiblyMe August 5, 2021 - 11:28 am

Aww I’m sorry it knocked you about so much. Hopefully it was just that naff week and you’ll now have the best protection possible ???? xx

Molly Scott January 4, 2022 - 8:56 am

V slow to finding this but just read it anyway – I can imagine it would have been very useful to anyone who was unsure of the whole ‘process’. No gimp latex suits is the best line I have read in a while! Glad all went well.

InvisiblyMe January 9, 2022 - 3:24 pm

I don’t judge, you never know what folks might want to wear to a vaccination ???? Thanks for reading & the comment, Molly! xx


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