Last Saturday, my husband got the first dose of his Covid vaccine. As a healthcare professional, he is on the local priority list and was offered the option. Jamaica’s first shipment of 50,000 doses of vaccines, donated by the Government of India, arrived on March 8, 2021, and another 14,400 expected doses a few days later.
DISCLAIMER: This blog post isn’t intended to influence anyone’s decision regarding the vaccine. Personally speaking, at this point, if you need someone to convince you to have common sense or at minimum, enough to do some (legitimate) research, you can find that motivation elsewhere. Be safe.
Rather, the intent behind it is like every other article posted; to document and share my personal and family’s experiences. This one just happens to be about the vaccine.
Covid19 had ravaged hundreds of countries and taken in excess of two million lives worldwide since its debut in 2019. The virus brought numerous economies, healthcare systems and societies to their knees. These numbers don’t account for persons who have died as a result of a lack of human and material resources within collapsing/collapsed systems.
The Decision to Get the Covid Vaccine
There was really no grand arrival at the decision. Our stance on vaccines as individuals and as a unit is resolute. They work. They have enabled us to conquer extremely contagious diseases for hundreds of years. There wasn’t a need for it [the conversation]. Similarly to the lack of need to discuss vaccinating our child at birth and up to this point according to the Jamaican vaccination schedule. For us, it was a given. Here’s why.
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A Bit of History Supporting Our Position
Within the Caribbean, Jamaica and its neighbours have been pioneers in the goal of successful eradication of diseases through vaccination.
The last cases of locally transmitted vaccine-preventable diseases were newborn tetanus in 2001, Rubella (German measles) in 2000, Congenital Rubella Syndrome in 1999, Diphtheria in 1995, Measles in 1991 and Poliomyelitis (Polio) in 1982. Polio is (at the time of this post) 99% eradicated from the world and deaths from measles have decreased by more than 80%.
The Covid19 pandemic has been in full swing for over a year. As a doctor working in a very public hospital setting, we have really just been playing Russian roulette every day from that time until now. Not just from the viewpoint that he could very easily be exposed to a positive patient and take the virus home, but from the viewpoint also that any exposure of myself and our daughter, could infect him and take it into his workplace.
Technology and science have advanced extensively over the last few decades. It is evident in things all around us; cell phones, computers, antiretroviral therapy that enables infected HIV persons to live with the virus as opposed to being a death sentence. There is nothing to support the notion that more than a year after being exposed to an unfamiliar type of Coronavirus (which we were already familiar with), that a vaccine was ‘too quick’.
Nonetheless, we know there are risks as are associated with any drug. We feel that we cannot be a part of the group of people that decides they want perfection in man-made medicine.
Simply put, as soon as I am able, I will be getting the Covid vaccine as well. Whatever side effect we encounter will, at a minimum provide data to better understand and improve the options.
Which Covid Vaccine Did He Get
My husband received the AstraZenca COVID vaccine, donated by the government of India. This vaccine was approved by the European Medicines Agency and the World Health Organisation (WHO). My husband is in his early thirties and has no known underlying health concerns at the time he received the first dosage. I’m starting to document his experience with day zero being the day he received the vaccine.
Day Zero of the Covid Vaccine
Hubby’s appointment was at 11:30 in the morning. Once he got home, I have been watching him closely. He was completely unaffected for the first 10 hours or so aside from mild dizziness in retrospect, which was attributed to hunger initially. At around 11 pm, he came to bed, noting that he was experiencing chills and rigours and a gradual onset of muscle and joint aches. This was accompanied by a pretty bad headache and slight nausea which progressed through the night. He barely slept but for a dose of Panadol Ultra which provided some relief. His temperature during this time remained normal.
When the painkillers wore off his headache returned and worsened to severe. He experienced some soreness at the injection site and developed a very mild temperature with persistent muscle and joint pain, loss of appetite and lethargy. He basically spent the entire day in bed.
Day two was better. A bit of soreness in the arm and a continuation of the headache and lethargy, absent the joint and muscles aches. However, he was able to go to work and ably perform.
He is much better and while he notes a slight lingering of the headache, it is not enough for him to medicate.
This was his first dose experience. The second shot is expected to be administered in May 2021.
Let’s Chat. Have you been vaccinated? Which of the vaccines have you gotten? What was your experience?
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