21 April 2021

I had the AstraZeneca shot and I'd do it again

| Damien Larkins
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Despite the increased risk, would you take the AstraZeneca vaccine? Photo: File.

“It’s freezing. Is the baby ok?”

It was 2:00 am, less than 24 hours since I’d had my first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.

I shivered as I scrambled to pull the bed covers over me: sheet, blanket, doona, even my wife’s decorative quilt.

By the time she’d come back from checking the nursery, I’d kicked the covers off, sweating from every pore.

“You’re probably just responding to the vaccine. It’s normal,” she told me soothingly.

My joints and muscles ached; I was swinging between fever and chills.

The shoulder I’d had the injection in was stinging, making it impossible to sleep on my preferred side.

It was a rough night.

READ ALSO Young Canberrans shepherded towards Pfizer vaccine: here’s what’s changed

In the morning, I dragged myself out of bed to find the pamphlet my GP had given me the day before, now crumpled in my bag.

Side effects: pain at the injection site, check. Chills and fever, check. Tiredness, double-check. Headache, muscle pain, feeling unwell – I’d almost scooped the pool.

Now we’re told the AstraZeneca vaccine itself could kill me by a blood clot.

It’s enough to give anyone pause.

But the experts assure us if the first shot didn’t kill us, we’re right for the second.

I’m in phase 1b due to an underlying severe medical condition, an invisible disability.

I turned up at the GP (mask on as a precaution), eager to take the first step towards life returning to normal.

It was early morning, but the waiting room was already filled with elderly people and other younger patients whose pre-existing conditions were far more obvious than mine.

Despite my high-risk factors, it felt like I wasn’t meant to be in this group – an interloper, cheating the system, jumping the queue. Like I’d just parked my car in a disability spot and sauntered off unimpeded.

My mask wasn’t mandatory, but it gave me some sense of belonging.

It made me feel that I, at least, looked like I had an ailment that presented a more immediate respiratory risk to COVID-19.

My name was called and I followed the nurse into the office.

“Why do you believe you are in group 1b?” she asked.

Though I knew I fit the criteria, my heart sank … like some sort of jig was up.

I told her of my condition.

She checked my medical records on the screen.

“Correct,” she said. “Now, please roll up your sleeve.”


After talking me through the process, she gave me the shot – no mess, no fuss.

I dutifully accepted the pamphlet and scrunched it up in my bag, promising to stay the mandatory 15 minutes in the waiting room before going home.

For the rest of the day, I felt great … until that night.

It took a few days for the worst of the side effects to clear.

Over a week later, looking back, getting vaccinated wasn’t the most pleasant experience.

But I know I’ve done my part – for myself, for my family and for our shared efforts to beat this pandemic.

Even for the strangers I’ll never meet, who might have died or lost a loved one.

And I’d do it all again … in 12 weeks when my second dose is due.

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As of yesterday the AstraZeneca is banned in 18 countries and now not recommended for under 60s here. What’s the bet soon it will be withdrawn here soon enough as well.
Also efficacy rate is only 70% whilst Pfizer and moderna are at 95%.
Rushing to a jab because health officials demand it seems dystopian to me. Make up your own mind as to what’s best. Obviously the AstraZeneca is a dud

Similar to my case.
I am usually a warm sleeper but woke up in the middle of the night feeling cold. Ok, the temperature dropped from 26c during the day to 13c during the night and I was wearing shorts, no coverings and windows wide open, so hard to say if it was a real side effect or not.
Other than that, I had discomfort on the injection site for two days and a headache the day after, solved with an ibuprofen in the morning and another one late in the arvo.
I am definitely getting my 2nd shot when it’s due…

Those of us who have personally had past severe allergic reactions to a vaccination are not reassured by reports of mild to severe adverse reactions to the Covid vaccine. Nor by reports that the Pfizer CEO says a third jab and an annual booster may be required. Nor by possible long term effects like birth defects from other insufficiently tested vaccines (Thalidomide). We know age and poor health are risk factors. What is interesting is a study that also links obesity with Covid severity. It’s all about making personal risk assessments. Does the risk of dying from Covid outweigh the risk of a severe reaction to the vaccine? For diseases where vaccination is safe, essential and beneficial, vaccination is a no brainer. For Covid?

Disagree. It’s also about making a positive contribution to the society you live in.

Acton, thalidomide was not a vaccine.

HiddenDragon6:47 pm 15 Apr 21

There are still question marks over the impact of vaccination on transmission of the virus –

“Mr Hunt suggested at a news conference in Canberra on Tuesday the international border closures could last much longer and stay in place even if the entire population had been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

“Vaccination alone is no guarantee that you can open up,” Mr Hunt said.

“If the whole country were vaccinated, you couldn’t just open the borders.

“We still have to look at a series of different factors: transmission, longevity [of vaccine protection] and the global impact – and those are factors which the world is learning about,” he said.”


Capital Retro5:18 pm 15 Apr 21

I don’t think I will get it for fear it will reject me.

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