So I am officially fully vaccinated, and as a person who has asthma, I am (was🤞🏼) in the higher risk category (Cohort 7) and it has been a joyride. Read on and let me tell you all about it!
Why did I get the vaccine?
As I mentioned above, I was categorised as a higher risk person when it comes to this virus. I have asthma, and allergies along with it (allergic asthma), which just essentially means I have a good couple of triggers, be it in the air, or in food.
Further than that, I have a major problem in wearing the mask for a prolonged period of time, especially outside when the weather is rainy, humid, or extremely cold as these weather types are a natural trigger for my asthma. So I had a pretty bad time with it, often getting really badly dizzy, even with precautions taken like taking some of my Ventolin before heading out and putting on the mask.
If that wouldn’t be a good enough reason, I was warned by my doctor that I would probably not do well with Covid, so cocooning was the only real way to protect my own and my husband’s health.
The vaccine was an obvious choice for the both of us.
Why Was I In The Cohort 7 And Not 4? 🤨
On a day-to-day, I am very good at managing my asthma, thankfully, so I automatically knew that I wouldn’t be in Cohort 4.
My GP warned me to wear the mask at all times, especially when near other people, and to practice social distancing according to guidelines.
But in general, I am in a relatively good health, I am taking my preventative (brown) Becotide inhaler daily as prescribed and the reliever (blue) Ventolin only when I absolutely need it. Besides the triggers that get me here and there (less and less over the years now as I learn more of them), I am okay.
Cohort 4 is/was for those who had bad symptoms daily with asthma/COPD/other lung diseases and are/were automatically deemed very high risk at doing badly with/or being endangered by Covid. I am lucky not to have been there.
SO I do not/did not qualify for cohort 4.
What Vaccine Did I Get? 💉
I got the Pfizer vaccine, which is one of the most recommended for my age, and to be honest, I find it is a bit of luck, considering it is one of the bests out there right now. (Side note: they are ALL the best, as they are designed to teach your immune system to kick the Covid butt. That’s all you need at the end of the day.)
I have received 2 separate doses. After the first, I had to wait 2 weeks before being somewhat protected, and after the second, I had to wait just one week to be 98% protected from Covid-19. I got the 2 doses exactly 4 weeks apart, I even had exactly the same time to go for my appointments.
How long did the process take to get jab?
I expected to be waiting in some nerve-wracking line, but low and behold, my GP practice was rather efficient this time. I was pretty much on time for my appointment and lucky me, the vaccine nurse nipped me right upon arrival both times. (She is a kind soul!)
I had to bring with me a pre-filled form that gave my consent to have both the vaccinations, and which explained to me how the doses will be given, how far apart, what side-effects there may be, along with a signed declaration.
On the day, I got a short reiteration and some jokes, while I got a pinch of pain, then I was on my merry way. Before I got my second vaccine, I was asked if I had any side effects, the pinch again, then I was on my merry way all over again. Easy peasy.
The first time I had to wait out for 15 minutes to make sure I was not getting an adverse reaction, the second time I had to stay only 10 minutes.
The second time around, I could leave after just 10 minutes! It was Phine!
NOTE: This is my personal experience, I know some members of my family had to wait in line and it was indeed nerve-wracking, so I sympathise.
What were my side effects to the Covid-19 Vaccine? 🍅
After 1st Dose
After I got home, I was pretty fine. Slight pain of my arm (I get yearly flu shots so that I’m used to), some tiredness as the day dragged on. I did have an early night. This tiredness kept up for a good week and a half after I got the jab but that wasn’t anything I didn’t expect, especially after meticulously reading the leaflet I was given with my future appointment and the vaccine info I read up on the HSE website (Link below👇🏻).
I was totally fine for about 2 days after, and I thought I’ll be one of those lucky people who the nurse mentioned had no problem with the first dose.
Well, I was, but not without some symptoms.
I started having flu-like symptoms – muscle ache, breathlessness like I had a milder chest infection. This lasted for about 4-5 days, and started directly after me bragging to my dad how PFine I was… Talking about irony. 😓
I was exhausted and generally just a bit unwell. I had to be a bit more careful with my asthma and I took paracetamol, I took Lemsip (not at the same time, but depending on whether I needed more medicine to help me out or no).
I played the part of an Eskimo by putting on layers upon layers of clothing on myself and a hat (to keep the heat that seemed to escape me).
Another helpful thing was that I drank a concoction of mine with freshly squeezed lemon, thyme mixed into hot but not boiling water, and some honey. I dare you to use it when you feel sick next. It’s magic!
So as I said, that was pretty general for me. I knew what to do.
Along with that, I lost my sense of smell for a couple days and not from a blocked nose, but once the flu symptoms went away my smell came back and the world started to give me a headache again. (Yay!)
But what was the weirdest thing of all is that I couldn’t eat tomatoes for a couple days! It tasted like acid to the back of my throat and seemed to burn a hole in my stomach. That only went away about 3 days ago, making it the longest-lasting symptom.
After 2nd Dose
So, when I got my 2nd dose, one of the major differences was that I got the Mother of All Sore Arms!
To the slightest touch I cringed for days. Were it was barely noticable and cold to the touch before, it was sore, swollen, hot and bothered now at the sight of the injection I couldn’t lift the arm. Way worse then with the flu vaccine.
The good news was though, that I only got some headaches (one sided migrain for 1 day) to go with it and the standard tiredness for the frist 3-4 days, including the vaccination day.
The tomato became weird again for one day only, and otherwise I was happy out!
After 1st Dose
I had one or two bad days with the vaccine all in all, especially towards the end of the first week and the beginning of the second. Most symptoms lasted 1-3 days tops. I didn’t have a sore arm from the jab and It didn’t even warm up whatsoever (as I expected based on my yearly flu shots).
If you have asthma, you might want to talk to your GP about what should you do if your asthma gets worse. Mine did but thankfully I knew how to handle it.
Now that the 2 weeks are behind me, I am way less worried about heading out (still doing what must be done), which helps a lot mentally. I felt really caged in and helpless, so I’m pretty glad to show the door to those emotions as you can imagine.
If you’re worried, don’t be. Everything lasts just a couple days, and then you should be peachy. Just keep an eye on yourself, your symptoms, ask for help if and when you need it.
In the end, it’ll be worth it all around.
EASIEST TO DEAL WITH? Tomatoes. 🍅
WORST TO DEAL WITH? My asthma. 🫁
After 2nd Dose
After having gone through the first doze with some difficulty, the second round seemed like a breeze even though the arm was hurting and i had a headache.
I usually measure these things against whether or not things affect my breathing and that way this was very easy too.
All in all, it’s been goo since. Only if I could ditch the masks too now, I’d be the happiest!! (Pretty please!)
EASIEST TO DEAL WITH? headaches 🤯
WORST TO DEAL WITH? Hurting arm 💪
Would I get the Vaccine again, should a second vaccination or even a yearly vaccination be required? For peace of mind and for my own and my family’s health. Absolutely yes.
Ireland: Latest Information about the Covid-19 Vaccine by HSE
More info on Allergic Asthma