We're a little crazy, about science!

COVID Vaccine: The first bivalent shot update!

Well it’s been roughly 36 hours or so since my latest vaccination, the bivalent COVID shot and since this is still something being rolled out to the general public, I wanted to document my reactions to the vaccine to keep people in the loop. I think the latest vaccine is pretty widely available at this point, so please make your appointment to get it soon! So that being said, let’s talk about how I’m doing now a day and a half later.

Okay so if we’re being incredibly technical it’s been roughly 34 hours, almost exactly at the time of this writing. I’ve had five COVID shots, four of them were the original and now the new bivalent vaccine. Most people get two or three and the bivalent, but I’m in one of those groups of people who are recommended to get more, so I did. From the previous experiences I know pretty well what to expect at this point.

So before going further I need to remind people that (1) this is an n = 1 type deal, so not worth a whole lot from a scientific perspective, but I would assume I’m average because most of us are, so your experience will most likely be something similar and (2) I kind of ruined this round by getting my flu shot at the same time, because why not? Honestly, if I hadn’t had to make an appointment I would’ve gotten my monkeypox vaccine at the same time. You know, since everything is trying to kill us all at once these days.

Now for the fun part…

Actually the boring part. Even with the flu shot, it appears that the worst thing that happened was I have two sore arms (okay, it’s localized to the injection sites). In fact, I can comfortably say that, in my case anyway, the COVID shot was no more painful than the flu shot. I say that because I genuinely couldn’t remember which arm was which until I really thought about it, and even now I’m questioning if I’m remembering correctly. I’m also a side sleeper and managed to sleep comfortably last night on both sides (since I move around a lot in my sleep and wake up frequently), so not a bad deal if I do say so myself.

To quickly recap, the only time I’ve had any real effects was from the second COVID shot. It was a very large immune response to the vaccine, which was the point, but it did suck for about 24 hours after the booster. The effects first really hit that evening (about 12 hours post shot) and went away 24 hours later so I had one night of horrible sleep. Which was a small price to pay for immunity, but since then I haven’t had a serious immune response to the vaccines, which I’m hoping is a good thing.

I had assumed since this vaccine includes the mRNA for the spike protein of two of the new omicron strains that I would have a similar effect, but apparently that isn’t the case. This of course assumes a similar timeline from the second booster, but if I do end up feeling like hot garbage over the weekend I’ll be sure to update as it happens (again, that could be due to the flu shot, so keep that in mind). I’m assuming that won’t be the case though because I haven’t had any effects, even mildly.

Okay I take that back, I have been feeling extra tired, but I’m also extra overworked these days * waves vaguely at the blog * so there’s a significant chance that the vaccines didn’t contribute to that. But to be crystal clear, I’ve had no fever, muscle soreness (aside from injection site), aches, pains (aside from the normal), or any other typical immune response symptoms.

Since most people had a similar reaction to the second booster, first was zero immune response symptoms, second was all the immune response symptoms, then third (and in my case fourth), was nothing again, I assume that others will (mostly) have the same experience I am currently having. So in short, get your booster today because we need to help stop the spread and that’s one way we can all do our part to make sure that happens.

Friendly reminder that while the mRNA vaccine is new, the technology behind it is decades in the making. In short, we got lucky with the timing of COVID and I won’t be surprised when more vaccines are mRNA based. This is because we’re really good at making mRNA and isolating it, so we can rapidly create new vaccines based on different virus mutations and they are safe and effective. In fact, they are arguably much, much safer than the live attenuated vaccines (vaccines made from a “weakened” virus) because there’s no chance for you to catch the actual virus.

And that concludes the latest COVID vaccine news. I’m glad we’ve got a new vaccine out and I hope others are quick to get it. This is a pandemic and will only end when we work together. It’s a group effort so we all need to do our little part to put a stop to the spread and the needless death.

But enough about us, what about you?

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