I am now fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Hallelujah! In addition, I had the dreaded disease last November, so I feel like I’m doubly protected.
Unfortunately, I have two sore arms. I’m not too worried about the right one, since I just got my shot yesterday. But my left shoulder is a mess three weeks after the shot.
The devil is in the details, as usual. Walk in. Get shot in arm. Done. What could possibly go wrong? Hundreds of millions of people have gotten the Pfizer vaccine.
I had never heard of SIRVA (Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration.) But it popped right up after Googling “shoulder hurts after Pfizer shot.” There’s even a national fund to reimburse people injured by SIRVA. Good luck with that!
SIRVA can happen, rarely, when the shot giver sticks the needle too far up your arm, close to your shoulder. Instead of sticking the middle of the upper arm’s deltoid muscle, the needle goes too close to the shoulder complex, causing inflammation and all sorts of bad things.
I’m gonna be okay. It’s slowly getting better. But I have some friendly advice if you are planning to get the Covid vaccine in the near future: Pay attention to where they put the needle! Observe the photo from the Melbourne Australia Vaccine Education Center about where the needle should go.
I learned this after I got my second shot. I immediately looked under my shirt for the location of the bandaid. Sure enough, they stuck me right on the top of my shoulder. Not good! This is simply a failure of basic training. I hope I am a rare exception.
This does not make me anti-vaccine. I am very pro-vaccine. In fact, I may be alive today because I proactively took the MMR vaccine last summer to protect myself from Covid.
Robert Wise and David Dzielak wrote last May an article for the Northside Sun pointing out studies indicating that the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine could prevent Covid from being severe.
I had already had several MMR shots because of mission work in Africa. But I got another one in July. Many of my friends and family got the MMR vaccine at my encouragement. Out of the dozens of people I know who got the MMR shot, nobody got Covid except me and my case was extremely mild despite maximum exposure. (I spent the entire day with a friend who came down severely ill the next day and spent eight days in the hospital.)
My friend who got sick, got sick gradually. When I got infected, my body reacted violently. My MMR-trained immune system kicked instantly into action. My fever shot up to 104 and my head felt like it was going to explode. I awoke the next morning feeling fine with no fever. I believe the MMR vaccine could have saved my life. Yes, I am a big believer in vaccines.
Nobody is paying much attention to the MMR vaccine now that real Covid vaccines are out. But recent studies are proving that the MMR vaccines did indeed work remarkably well in preventing serious cases of Covid.
The brilliance of the new mRNA vaccines is that they turn your own body into a vaccine factory, preventing the timely and costly need to manufacture the vaccine in a laboratory. By inserting a snippet of RNA into your cells, the cells produce and release the infamous “spikes” that allow the virus to latch on and infect your cells.
The spikes, however, are not attached to the killer Covid virus so they are harmless. But the spikes do train your immune system to recognize and neutralize in real Covid spikes.
The success of these new vaccines is almost beyond imagination. Fully vaccinated, you have a one in ten thousand chance of getting a mild Covid cold, at worst. I’ll take a sore shoulder for that.
I’ve asked dozens of people what their vaccine experience was like. The responses are all over the board. Some people report nothing more than a slight sore arm for a day or two. Others are fine on the first shot and sick for a couple of days after the second, and vice versa. There really is no rhyme or reason. Personally, my first shot was a bear, with an extremely sore arm and shoulder for over three weeks. My second shot was a piece of cake.
Many of my friends aren’t going to take the vaccine. I find this hard to comprehend but I respect their decision. Government forcing its citizens to take vaccines is a controversial and complicated issue. We’ve been forcing schoolchildren to take vaccines for years in return for a public education.
Not everybody is going to take the Covid vaccine. We will not eradicate Covid-19. It will be around forever. But our immune systems will adapt and we will learn to live with yet another disease. The worst is over.