This week, my wife and I converted our vacation into a staycation due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. Coincidentally, the weatherman also predicted a mid-week snowstorm. So Thursday morning, when I woke up to 9 inches of snow, I was not surprised. However, I was surprised when I received an email from my hospital, offering to schedule the COVID-19 vaccine!! To make things even more exciting, there was an appointment available the very next morning at 7:10 AM!! I could not believe it.
I was fortunate to be in the first group of people to get the vaccine in the United States, because I see COVID-positive patients in the hospital. In fact, I start a 4-week in-patient rotation on Monday, so this could not come at a better time.
Friday morning I arrived at Sacred Heart Hospital around 6:55 AM, 15 minutes prior to my appointment. There was about half a dozen people ahead of me, in various stages of the vaccination process. The first station was to verify information.
Next was the vaccine station, where I received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. It was just like receiving any other vaccine. Afterwards, I received a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. I also received a second card, which had the time I could leave the monitoring area, and schedule the second dose. If everything goes according to plan, I will receive the second dose on January 7!!
12 hour update: I am experiencing the common side effects of pain and swelling at the site of the injection. It is mild. I have no fever, chills, tiredness, or headache.
24 hour update: The pain and swelling over the area where I got the shot has decreased significantly overnight.
30 hour update: Mild headache for 3 hours. According to this CDC page, the impact of Tylenol and anti-inflammatory medications on vaccine-induced antibody response is not available at this time. Since the headache didn’t go away after lunch, I will take two tablets of Tylenol Extra Strength (500 mg each).
40 hour update: Mild headache returned, so I took two more tablets of Tylenol Extra Strength (500 mg each).
48 hour update: Injection site pain and headache have resolved.