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

Damien Larkins 21 April 2021 65

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.

What's Your Opinion?

Please login to post your comments, or connect with
65 Responses to I had the AstraZeneca shot and I’d do it again
Steve Galvin Steve Galvin 5:10 pm 29 Jul 21

Timothy, you are welcome to your opinion...good for you

Timothy Bailey Timothy Bailey 2:47 pm 29 Jul 21

First AZ shot gave me some left leg pain for about 48 hrs, over 3 days. Will still have 2nd shot soon as the 12 wks wait is nearly up. 😏🙂 As the marines I spent some time with would say ..... "It's a dooty, sorr".

Ol L Ol L 11:25 am 18 Jun 21

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

Fred GM Fred GM 9:18 am 17 Apr 21

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…

Acton Acton 8:03 am 16 Apr 21

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?

    TimboinOz TimboinOz 3:21 pm 29 Jul 21

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

    nickwest nickwest 6:25 pm 29 Jul 21

    Acton, thalidomide was not a vaccine.

Linda Trotter Linda Trotter 8:24 pm 15 Apr 21

Had mine. No problems. Will have second when due. Too much scaremongering going on.

    Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 11:44 pm 15 Apr 21

    Linda Trotter You're lucky not to have side effects. I had side effects; cold, shaking, hot fever. It won't stop me having my second shot, but it's not clear sailing for all of us. I have never had that happen with any previous vaccination.

HiddenDragon HiddenDragon 6:47 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 Retro Capital Retro 5:18 pm 15 Apr 21

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

Julie Macklin Julie Macklin 4:38 pm 15 Apr 21

I had my first Astra Zeneca vaccination last Thursday. Initially all I had was a slightly sore arm, which soon faded. However, later in the day I began to get cold chills and shake. The shake got fairly severe and I struggled to hold anything such as a phone in my hand. This was interspersed with the feeling of heat. During the hot moments I stopped shaking, but the shaking returned when the cold chills returned. This went for several hours. Eventually the cold chills disappeared, leaving only the heat, after which I managed to get to sleep.

When I woke up next morning the hot fever had gone. I still felt a bit unwell and I was tired, but was much improved. I have read that the side effects are less for the second vaccination. I do hope so. (I have never reacted to the flu vaccination.)

Andrew Hennell Andrew Hennell 3:43 pm 15 Apr 21

Had my first AZ, no problems - will have my 2nd when due.

Linda Stapleton Linda Stapleton 11:40 am 15 Apr 21

I feel for all of those who have had reactions to this vaccine and have been relegated to simply being statistics and their suffering is dismissed... guess they just dont fit the agenda...

Jose Vega Jose Vega 11:05 am 15 Apr 21

Three weeks ago no side effects

My wife has a headache that's all. Second shot in 9 weeks time no worries.

Michael Pearson Michael Pearson 10:31 am 15 Apr 21


covidvaccinereactions Instagram

    Luke Costanzo Luke Costanzo 4:58 pm 15 Apr 21

    Michael Pearson zero facts or fact checking. All screen shots, conjecture and clickbait. Try again

Anne Therese Anne Therese 10:01 am 15 Apr 21

Had my AZ a week ago - bit of a sore arm (as per most vaccinations) and tiredness, but nothing else.

Carol Miller Carol Miller 9:46 am 15 Apr 21

I had mine on Tuesday and apart from the usual soreness in my arm I’m ok. I’m booked in for the next jab in June. My MIL and FIL had theirs just after Easter and they are both in their late 80’s and neither suffered any side affects to speak of.

    Steve Galvin Steve Galvin 10:52 am 15 Apr 21

    If you go Zombie let me know I have my machetes ready :)

    Carol Miller Carol Miller 10:56 am 15 Apr 21

    Steve Galvin wouldn’t you be spesh enough to fall in 1b?

    Steve Galvin Steve Galvin 1:46 pm 15 Apr 21

    But said to them i would stick it in there eye if the tried sticking it in me

    Carol Miller Carol Miller 1:56 pm 15 Apr 21

    Steve Galvin oh you gonna be a bad boy!

    Steve Galvin Steve Galvin 3:35 pm 15 Apr 21

    No i hate needles

Simon Hiscock Simon Hiscock 9:01 am 15 Apr 21

Had AZ jab two weeks ago today, no issues apart from a mildly sore spot on the arm.

Janet Francis Janet Francis 8:47 am 15 Apr 21

Good on you Lee! I’m having mine on 5th May and have friends who’ve had theirs, no problems.

Jim Jim Jim Jim 8:44 am 15 Apr 21

Politely cheering from the back of the queue here to see if any further dramas unfold...which probably also explains the slow uptake by many. Blood clot issue aside, it was only recently reported to potentially take a few days off, if you’re one of the unlucky ones who gets mild symptoms at times from vacations. On a personal level that advice was more useful as I’ve reacted on occasion to the flu vaccine so at least I know what to potentially expect...

    Heidi Tunks Heidi Tunks 9:12 am 15 Apr 21

    Jim Jim i never get reactions to the flu jab and it knocked me around for a day or two 😂 fever, fatigue, sore as all get out, but i'd take the jab over actual covid anyday

    Jim Jim Jim Jim 9:19 am 15 Apr 21

    Heidi Tunks totally agree.

Mike Mayfield Mike Mayfield 8:35 am 15 Apr 21

Those rejecting COVID vaccination against medical advice seem to be not well versed in risk analysis, basing their decision on "what sounds the most scary?" rather than "what does the data show is actually most likely to harm me?" Personal fears often override actual evidence in this weird human world.

    Russell Furzer Russell Furzer 8:57 am 15 Apr 21

    Mike Mayfield Rogers v Whittaker set the standard for treatment consent. The court found that individual weighting of the values of different outcomes was of primary importance

Amy CJ McFarlane Amy CJ McFarlane 8:30 am 15 Apr 21

Interested in why my comment with statistics on COVID, the vaccine and side effects (backed up by research, with links) was just deleted. For those interested, I am happy to provide the links to back up these numbers

- incidence of blood clotting disorder associated with AZ vaccine : 0.001% (approximately 1 in 100,000)

- Incidence of death from COVID-19 post infection: between 1-2% globally (1-2 in 100)

- incidence of long COVID disorder post infection: approximately 30% post infection (3 in 10)

- incidence of clotting issues in COVID patients: ~20% (1 in 5)

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Region Group Pty Ltd

Search across the site