A couple of caveats to start: Not everybody is the same. Not nearly. So, talk to your doctor because I am not one, but do talk to a doctor, an actual M.D., preferably your physician.
The year 2021 was many things, but it was definitely the ‘year of the shot’ for me.
And I’m not talking tequila, although I will devote a blog post soon to my discovery this year of tequila as the ultimate sipper. Stay tuned. Sipper of choice tonight is Widow Jane’s bourbon.
As a 50-plus gentleman, I wasn’t just in the market for three COVID-19 vaccines this year. I got both of my Shingrix vaccines, too. And the flu vaccine. That’s a lot of side effects, right?
Yes, but it might not be from what you’re thinking.
This post is not to flex in judgment nor is it to convince anybody to do anything. I just thought it would be helpful to share my reactions to each of these different vaccines. Talk to your doctor, but if this is helpful to you, then awesome.
Regular readers know that Kristi and I came down with COVID-19 last New Year’s Eve. What a way to start the year, right? We were extraordinarily fortunate that it wasn’t worse, and because we were infected in January, we didn’t get a first vaccine until late March and then a second until late April.
First shot March 22. Second shot April 24.
Side effects after the first shot: Felt a little icky, but it was more malaise than ill. I wanted to type blase, but I could figure out on a Mac how to do the accent on the ‘e.’ Lame. But for the first shot, I took no Advil afterward, nothing. It was cake.
Side effects after the second shot in April were zilch, but that’s because I was taking Advil for a sprained neck — and that was painful. I feel like I might have messed up the effectiveness of the second shot by taking pain reliever before the shot. It was definitely a cheat.
So, them’s the first two COVID-19 shots. In September, as part of a work health fair we get, I was offered a flu vaccine and my first of two Shingrix vaccines. I was long-warned about the Shingrix vaccine, which protects against Shingles, being a doozy. I took the first Shingrix dose and the flu vaccine at the same time, both in my left arm.
I didn’t feel great for the next two days. Not bad, just not optimal. Thought it would be worse.
Kristi and I both got our booster in October, soon as we could. Of the three COVID-19 vaccines, this one had the most impact on us. Made us achy and tired.
I didn’t feel great the next two days. The very next day, I recall being at our newsroom in Tulsa and thinking I should be home. I was achy from the shot. Not so much that I couldn’t function, but enough that I wanted to lie on the couch and watch Netflix.
And for anybody who knows me, unless I’m snuggled up next to my wife, I do not sit on the couch. I’m a go go go sort of dude.
Last but definitely not least … Shingrix No. 2.
A few paragraphs ago, I noted that the first Shingrix shot was in my left arm for a reason. The nurse who administered the second shot just last week insisted, per order of the doctor, that it be administered in my butt. She said, “butt,” but honestly it was more like hip.
She said the doctor insists they be given in the hip to minimize side effects. However, for me, the second Shingrix produced the strongest side effects of any vaccine I had this year. I really felt achy for two full days and, at night, for four or five in all.
I didn’t miss any work, and I’m not tough. I’m a total wimp. Big trust on that.
I’m not sure if there will be more boosters; I’m not in love with getting pricked by a needle. I wince every time. I do know that I ought to get the pneumonia vaccine at some point, and believe it or not, I’m due another tetanus shot. I might wait until I step on a nail for that one.
Or just sip more bourbon.