I went in to have my booster shot on Saturday, and I fully admit I was a little apprehensive. I figured I’d have to have my brain poked again, but it turned out that all they did was take blood and give me the second shot. I had a little bit of tenderness yesterday and overnight, but it’s nothing compared to what I had with the first shot. I had kind of an intermittent headache on Sunday, but I didn’t even take anything for it. So far the second dose has been what I’d expect from a vaccine — nothing bad at all.
I did learn a few things from the nurses while we were there. The doctor told me they haven’t given enough people the second shot at our site frequently enough to know if the second shot was better or worse as far as reactions. It also turns out that everyone else we know that has gone down for the shot did not have to get a Covid test and they did not have to download the app and report on their symptoms for seven days after each test. We didn’t realize it, but Jared and I were enrolled in the “sub study” testing symptoms in just 3,000 of the 30,000 study participants. Combined with what the doctor said about not having given enough of the second dose to have guessed about how bad it will be, I’m wondering if Jared and I are among the first 3,000 people to have this vaccine in the US. We have been speculating that maybe they put the first 3000 people in the sub study automatically to check for bad reactions before offering it to 27,000 other people. Whatever happened, we both ended up on the sub study, which means we have to take two extra trips down to Richmond compared to other people, and we have to have the extra Covid tests. It’s fine — science. But we didn’t realize we were in that group.
Results coming back are kind of erratic for the AZ study, and I’m okay with that. It makes me feel better to have been vaccinated, even if efficacy is only 60% — still better than the regular flu vaccine I get every year.
One of the neat things about this particular vaccine is that Astra Zeneca has committed to providing their vaccine at cost to everyone worldwide. It is cheaper than other vaccines at about $4/dose, which means very poor countries will be able to be vaccinated. I’m humbled to be part of a study that may help control the virus worldwide.