I got my Covid bivalent booster vaccination last Thursday—Pfizer this time, as opposed to Moderna up until now. I scheduled the shot for mid-afternoon, knowing I could set aside Thursday evening and Friday for down time if I got sick, as expected from past experience.
While I did get draggy and had some achy joints, I was very pleasantly surprised that, this time, the aftermath was not debilitating. No rash at the injection site. No real brain fog (other than my normal age-and-scleroderma baseline). I was able to sleep through the night. I modified my morning exercises to accommodate my sore left arm, but otherwise went about my day, editing a blog for a client, writing more in Novel 2. It was only by late Friday afternoon and evening that I ran out of energy. But by Saturday morning, most of the aches were gone.
I don’t know if this is because I went with Pfizer. From what I’ve read, the two versions are effectively equivalent and highly successful in reducing risk of severe disease from both earlier Covid variants and Omicron BA.5. Maybe there has been something in the Moderna vaccine chemistry that wallops me. In any case, the FDA says it’s fine to mix-and-match the vaccines, so I decided to try Pfizer and see if I could tolerate it better. That seems to be the case.
I chose not to pair the booster with my annual flu shot, because I wanted to get over whatever side effects I’d have from the former before adding in the latter. Now that I’m over 65, I get the super-duper flu shot (a friend called it “the old geezer shot”), and I need to pace myself. So that’s scheduled for this coming Thursday.
Fortunately, it is super easy to get vaccinated. Both shots are free and readily available at many local pharmacies. One piece of advice: don’t count on a walk-in. I thought that would be possible, given all the reports that there has been no run on the bivalent booster, but found out when I arrived without an appointment at my local CVS that I definitely needed one. The online appointment scheduling is simple and takes only about five minutes.
I hope your experience with the bivalent booster goes well. Please don’t wait. Flu season is upon us here in the Northeast, already intensifying in the southern U.S., and new, wily Omicron variants have also hit our shores. We have the tools and a lot more experience than we did two-and-a-half years ago.
Stay safe out there.
Image: Vinzenz Lorenz M