Last week, I was informed that, as my mother’s carer, I would be eligible for the AstraZeneca Covid-19 Vaccination under the 1b group. I thought that I would write about my experiences here, so that others might know what to expect.
Firstly, I attempted to navigate the Federal Govt website to book the injection. That was more complex than Chinese algebra with a blindfold – and when I finally made sense of the website, the ability to book online was broken, meaning I had to call the places anyway.
I spoke with my GP, who recommended our local testing clinic – who had chosen to give vaccines in the mornings and tests in the afternoons. This particular clinic was the first drive-thru testing clinic in Australia, and it is run to precision. Booking was over the phone, which required Name, Date of Birth, Address, Medicare Number, as well as any relevant medical history (Allergies, medications etc) All up, it took ~10-15 minutes to book both of us in.
We were given a time to show up, with instructions to proceed up the driveway, activate our hazard lights and follow the directions of ground-staff. We parked the car and were escorted in. Confirming our ID, we were then taken directly into a small room where two doctors came in and each administered an injection to us both. We were given a small business card with the time and date, with a blank space for the second dose info to be written, then ushered into a waiting room. We waited patiently, before being allowed to leave after fifteen or so minutes.
I was rather amazed at how well it all ran, and how quickly we were in and out again. I always like to watch the needles go in (yes I know, I am weird…) but this one, I did not feel at all. Not even a small pinch. Literally nothing! Afterward in the waiting area, I felt my arm. Its hard to explain – it was not a painful feeling, or even an ache, but my shoulder and then my neck felt… lighter? I cannot explain it, but something was certainly happening in there! It only lasted 20-30 minutes though.
After that, I felt fine! Well, until the cold and flu symptoms kicked in. We were given a factsheet to inform us of likely side effects, including tiredness, runny nose, aching joints etc. I have had them all, but it says that they will only last 2-3 days, so that is a small price to pay.
The first 24 hours was the worst. Aching back, headache and congested. I just wanted to stay in bed. But once I was up and moving, most of it went away. It is a strange sensation to feel sick, but to know that you are not sick. My body’s immune system was building its defence against the Covid Protein, which was in the injection (well, the rDNA to create the protein – there is no live virus in this vaccine!)
By the 36 hour mark, I am already feeling less terrible – my nose is only delivering a small flow of snot and my body aches less than it did this morning.
48 hours after receiving the jab, I am feeling totally fine. 100% recovered, my body has done what it needed to do with the vaccine, and now all I have to do is play the waiting game – a 12-week wait for the second dose! In another two weeks, I can line up to get my annual flu vaccine, which I will also be doing, of course…
This vaccine is new technology, and I was rather eager to get it and experience a world-first experience! Usually, a vaccine is created using a portion of the virus, or even blood from an animal that has built up an immunity to the virus. This vaccine uses a portion of the virus’ own instructions to regenerate itself. It only creates the little legs – the parts that allow the virus to grab onto healthy cells in our body – but no virus. Our body then learns what these little legs are and how to kill them off, meaning that if we are later infected with Covid19, our own immune system recognises the legs from the instructions given with the vaccine, and kills just the legs, leaving the virus unable to attach to any cells, and therefore, die a lonely death. This technology is already being tested to see if it can also be used to fight other deadly viruses, such as Ebola, HIV and even Cancer. It would literally be as simple as swapping out the rDNA instructions of one virus and inserting another. Its a game-changer!