Experience following Moderna vaccine: Recently vaccinated

Madelyn Kidd, Editor-in-Chief

On Thursday, March 25, I had my first vaccination appointment at Sarah Bush Lincoln to receive the Moderma vaccine. The process was a simple process; you got checked in, received the vaccine, you have to stay in observation for a standard time of 15 minutes unless you have a potential for a reaction based on your health history. Then you will need to stay in observation longer. Afterwards, you’re free to go.

After receiving the first dose, I experienced the following reactions: immediately during observation, I experienced extreme burning pain at the injection site almost as if someone was holding a curling iron to my arm. When I had 5 minutes left of my observation, the burning pain turned into a normal pain following a shot. However, I don’t normally experience that level of pain until an hour following the shot, not right after. All of my pain at the injection site disappeared after 48 hours.

A couple of hours after getting the first dose I started to have the weirdest headache experience. It felt as if I had cotton shoved into my head like I’m a Build-a-Bear, and my head reached it’s space capacity for cotton. It was also hard to focus because of the weird sensation. By the time I went to bed that night, the weird headache had turned into a normal migraine. However, the next morning when I woke up the migraine was gone.

The only other reaction I had was that I experienced cold symptoms the next day and over the weekend.

On Thursday, April 22, I received the second dose of the vaccine. The process was the same as before, but this time I experienced similar but different reactions. My reactions included: having a sore and tender arm, but not the same burning pain as before. Something that was new this time, is that the next day the injection site was swollen and red. This lasted for several days after receiving the shot. 

I also developed another headache-turned migraine, but this time it was a normal headache experience. The migraine lasted for three days after getting the vaccine.

A new experience I didn’t have the first time was that I had very low energy and struggled to focus on anything. I expected the low energy from what others experienced, but I wasn’t expecting the severity of my inability to focus. I would have to ask people to repeat what they just said constantly, and I struggled to keep up with the conversation topics. It was similar to what it’s like to stay up late and try to take a test at 8 a.m. the following morning. I also struggled to read whether it was books or something on my phone. It was like my brain couldn’t understand English anymore. Thankfully, the migraine, low energy and inability to focus went away after three days.

Now that I’m fully vaccinated, it’s safer for myself and for others when I have to leave my house. Additionally as Illinois starts to open up again, I can use my vaccine card to be allowed to enter certain places.

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