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How I Felt After My First COVID Vaccine

I received my vaccine on a Wednesday, and by the evening, I was already feeling sick. I had a headache, fever, and hot and cold sweats. Overall, I felt weak, tired, and generally miserable. I was thinking: after a good night's sleep, I will be fine.

I slept great! I woke up on Thursday morning with a pounding headache and I was freezing. I had a fever. I took some paracetamol along with my meds. This brought my fever down. But overall, I felt horrible. My headache was so intense that it was making me dizzy, I felt nauseous. I spent the whole day in bed, resting. I didn’t eat much during the day because of nausea. I felt like I had no appetite.

I can't imagine what I would have felt like if I had COVID

I had never felt like this before. It was like I had the worst flu ever, or COVID. I can't imagine what I would have been like if I was unlucky enough to catch COVID if I felt like this after the vaccine! I was constantly sweating but at the same time shivering from the cold. I couldn’t stand or walk without feeling like I was going to pass out, or vomit, or both all at the same time. Throughout the day I took medication to help with my symptoms. The meds helped bring down my temperature and eased my headache. I went to sleep early and slept for about 15 hours.

I woke up on Friday feeling 100 times worse. My chest felt so tight, and I was wheezing. I have asthma, but it hasn’t affected me in years. I took my inhaler throughout the day and that helped. I also had a very sore throat.

My headache was so intense that I couldn’t lift my head off the pillow. I woke up sweating and freezing again. I couldn’t get out of the bed, I was so dizzy and just felt so horrible. So, I asked my mam to help me. She made me tea and toast and brought me up water.

I forced myself to eat a slice of toast so I could take my medicine. This time the meds didn’t help with my symptoms, so I had to take different medication too. Finally, my headache eased but it never fully went away. I didn’t move from my bed all day (which made my ankylosing spondylitis symptoms worse). I made sure to drink plenty of water. My whole body ached, more than usual. I couldn’t wait to go to sleep so I wouldn’t have to deal with feeling like this.

Finally, I started feeling a little better

I woke up on Saturday, still feeling miserable but, thankfully, not as bad. I still had a headache, which my meds helped. I didn’t have a fever anymore and my chest was ok again. But I was still having hot and cold sweats. My throat was still sore. I was still weak, but I had more energy than the day before. At this point, I was sick of lying in bed. But I knew my body needed rest so throughout the day I went from lying on my bed to lying on the couch and visa-versa. I finally had some sort of appetite back. This was the first time I had felt hungry again, I still didn’t eat much but at least I wanted food again!

On Sunday I woke, and I felt a lot better. I was still tired and had a sore throat, but I was finally starting to feel a bit better!

So overall the symptoms I got from the Moderna vaccine were:

  • Hot & cold sweats
  • Chills, shivers, fever
  • Aches and pains
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Wheezing
  • Sore throat
  • Weakness
  • Sore arm

Even though I felt horrible for a few days, I am so thankful and happy that I got my first COVID vaccine! Everybody is different, and the vaccine will affect everybody differently. I’m hoping that I won’t feel like this after my second vaccine, but again, it's ok if I do because a few days of feeling sick is worth it if it means that I won't get COVID or pass COVID on to somebody else.

Did you feel sick after your COVID vaccine?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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