Jessica and I are now completely, fully vaccinated against COVID-19. My reaction to the first dose was just pain at the site of injection, but nothing more than that. Even so, saying it was “just pain” doesn’t do justice to how much it hurt the following couple days. After that, though, the pain dissipated.
My second dose triggered a more severe reaction, unfortunately. I was much more tired, followed by wooziness and stomach aches. A solid 12 hours or so of sleep helped in that regard, and I was back to more or less normal (if ever there was such a thing) a couple days later.
Our getting vaccinated is not primarily about our safety; it’s about Namine’s. She is 12, so she cannot get the vaccine. Like any individual who cannot themselves get it, she depends on herd immunity: she will be protected from it through others who can, and have, gotten the vaccine. In the short term, that means discomfort — and sometimes even misery — due to the side effects from the vaccine.
It’s still worth it to undergo, because she is worth it. It’s not about us. It’s about her.
I also wanted to mention this. We got our vaccines at Children’s Hospital, the very same as where Namine has spent so much time with surgeries, procedures, and emergencies. As I was talking with the nurse who gave me my second dose, she suddenly realized who I was. (It was probably harder with the mask on.)
“You’re Namine’s dad!”
The nurse used to work on a floor that Namine used to frequent on those panicked, late nights of terror. Namine is older now, and much more self-sufficient and less medically fragile. As a result, we no longer have need to visit the ER. (We are thankful for that.)
She is still young enough, however, that she is remembered by so many of the staff. Though many of them have moved on from the critical care departments we used to visit so often, they still hold her in their heart. And that warms ours!