Aug. 14, 2021

COVID-19 shot

Seeing a sharp needle punctured into my arm definitely not a good feeling. It is terrifying for many. Some even develops reactions while waiting for their turn. Short breath, worry, unsettle, and passed out.

We instinctively don't like any sharp object. We don't like bard wire, we don't want to scale a wall with the top cemented with broken glasses. We like rose flower but not its needle. It just naturally that unless necessary and the doctors told so, taking a jab is unwelcome.

When it comes to COVID-19 with devastating effects on the most powerful nations, I am aware and at awe of how a simple structure but very efficient could bring down the most powerful ever walked on the planet Earth. The choice was easy. Get the shot as soon as I could. Right after the local authority announced to register for COVID-19 vaccine shot sometimes beginning of June 2021, I and my wife after a brief discussion, agreed to put our names on the list. We are number #6 and #7 from 70 apartments. When I returned back home, I were little uncertain. Why COVID-19 is so scary and possible lethal, just a few people has registered their name for the shot. Partly, some of residents got the vaccine through their company. But still, I felt like I am the minority side of vaccination.

Just to add context here. At the beginning of June 2021, Ho Chi Minh city was at the beginning of Delta variant wave with debating if the city should be stricter on social distancing. "Lock down" or anyone should stay in place had not discussed. Information about the type and distribution of vaccine was not very accessible. Granted, we heard on the state media how many dosage of Astrazeneca was arrived at the airport, but there also possibility to have vaccine from China and Russia. I have nothing against products from Russia or China but the lack information and disseminate or trial data did worry me.

Fast forward to this week (middle of August 2021), I have a paper from the local authority informed to get COVID shot.  Up to August, overwhelming vaccine in Vietnam is AstraZeneca (12M doses) and less than 1M doses from China and Russian, so I am fairly certain that I will get AstraZeneca.  Vietnam also received round 1M dosage of Pfizer, 5M doses of Moderna. Getting American vaccine is my slim hope. They are higher efficacy and side effects seems to be moderate compared to AstraZeneca.  And there is obvious reason why people will find the mean to get Pfizer or Moderna.  Anyhow, I'm middle age, healthy, having a AstraZeneca shot is more than good enough.

And I did. 

Right after having a shot, I did not feel a thing. The needle made a small tick but that was all. During 30-minute wait, a girl sat next the me seem nervous, sweaty, and asked me if I saw her as normal. Because she was out of her breath, she had the repeat three times, I suggested she should run the the emergency room and asked attending doctor there. She did. And I hope she will be fine.

The fight between new proteins from the vaccine and my immunity system clearly kicked in after 12 hours after the shot. I felt the fatigue on my joints: my knees, my spine. It then followed up with headache. And I got a light fever round 18 hours after the shot. The highest temperature is 38.4*C around 28h after the shoot. Exceeding 38.5*C is considered as high fever, and needed to take fever pills. I was prepared that I might need medicine and check for the pills. I had them stocked, more than enough. My wife checked my temperature regularly, and really encouraged to take the pill. I plan if the the fever at 38.5*C and sustaining 2 hours I will take it.  I was quite confident despite a high temperature, it was not that severe. When I laid down, it was a bit fatigue but no dried lips, no change in taste, no reverberate thumb on my head. Then I decided to take 2 cups of warm water (600mL total). I sweated quite a bit, wet my hair under my neck.  The temperature quickly subsided. At 32 hours after the shot, I was back at 37.5*C and went to bed as normal. I made sure that I secured my blanket. I was a bit scare to feel cold couple of times during the night. I increased the temperature of the AC and back to sleep again.  The next morning, everything was fine. Not much headache, joint pain seems lighten and I was cool like a cucumber. 

I was so waiting the second shot.

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