I got the J&J Vacine. Here’s How I Feel
So much talk about vaccines lately. Of course. It's top of mind because we are getting to the point where the majority can receive the vaccine at least here in the US. Not to mention, we can see it is bringing down the numbers of Covid cases, especially since most of the country is open at this point, but it's also the best chance we have to get to herd immunity. Not to mention the research shows that if you get the vaccine, if you contract Covid, you will not die if you've been vaccinated. Vaccines have removed multiple diseases from our population and the hope with this vaccine is that it will eradicate this virus too. However there's a lot of skepticism when it comes to the vaccine. I'm not here to discuss this in this particular post.
2 of the 3 vaccines being offered to Americans are mRNA which haven't been used on the masses before. J&J was a traditional vaccine which does use a dead version of the virus (similar to the flu shot and other vaccines in the past.)
I got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is 1 shot for the full dose. While it is less effective % wise in comparison to Pfizer and Moderna, it's important to note that the J&J vaccine was tested in other countries and those % efficacy rates were used in the overall efficacy of the vaccine. From the numbers I read in several articles, the J&J overall was in the high 70 percentile in the US.
The second piece of the vaccine is that J&J is not an mRNA vaccine. It does have a version of the dead virus within the vaccine, which is the traditional approach towards a vaccine. Many people didn't realize this point until the recent recall of the vaccine due to the 6 rare (but suspiciously correlated) blood clots that occurred within women aged 18-48. Curiosity was high, and this was the same issue Astra Zeneca had in the EU because these two vaccines include the virus itself and are not mRNA like Pfizer and Moderna. The hesitation for many with mRNA is that it alters your DNA and changes proteins inside your body. Not to mention it hasn't been used on the masses before and many doctors when asked what does mRNA do for XYZ (X potentially being fertility, Y potentially being pregnancy and Z being overall health) most do not know what the long-term ramifications will be. Again I'm not here to discuss vaccine versus no vaccine because my opinion is quite clear.
How I Felt 0-7 Days Post Vaccine
Within the first 12 hours, I started to feel sick. I had chills, a fever of 99.1 which then escalated to 99.3 and the highest I saw my temperature was around 99.5. This was quite warm for me because most days I do operate at a lower than 98.6 temperature *somewhere in the 97.8 range* I didn't feel well all night the day I got the vaccine and then I woke up with a horrible headache, still some chills (didn't get the greatest sleep) but the headache was somewhat manageable. In terms of feeling achey and sore, I feel that way every day after CrossFit so nothing was really different there. Mainly the headache wouldn't stop, so I finally definitely to take some Ibuprofen which killed the headache and I felt fine by the afternoon. Therefore it was 24-36 hours of not feeling the greatest, and then the worst was behind me.
However for a few days, I didn't feel quite like myself. One of the days post vaccine, I went to the gym and we had a lot of wall walk-ups which is a lot of upside down work with your arms walking upside down up against a wall. Think of a handstand against the wall so you walk up and back down. I've done this workout before and while I don't particularly enjoy being upside down in a lot of cases after this workout, I was so dizzy and felt very ill (stomach and headache) for a few hours. When I was driving home, I felt so dizzy I had to pull over, which is not normal for me. I chalked it up to the vaccine side effects, possible dehydration (probably but not sure) and then also overall lack of rest. However it was strange to feel this way because again I've done these workouts before and while they're not pleasant, I can get through them.
Later in the week, Aaron and I were having a few drinks and normally 2 glasses of wine doesn't do much for me but after 1 glass of wine I felt pretty sick and also didn't feel like myself again. I went to bed early that night and woke up feeling meh. It was weird because 1 glass of wine isn't enough to make me feel quite so sick, like how I felt so again I chalked it up to a combination of overworking my body mentally and physically, but also adding in the element of the vaccine.
How I Feel 2 Weeks (14 Days) Post Vaccine
At this point, I feel back to normal. Yesterday (April 19th 2021) marked exactly 2 full weeks since I got the J&J vaccine and I'm feeling much more back to normal at this point.
I had the rare opportunity to be on a stage in Clubhouse with doctors from all over the country (Clubhouse is an audio specific social media app that connects people who would like to discuss all sorts of topics.) Since I'm 30, I am right in that range of women affected by the J&J vaccine and they said the biggest red flag to watch out for is a debilitating headache after that initial 24-48 hour timeframe. From my recollection, I think I had a minor headache a few days ago but nothing debilitating.
Last week, I did hit the gym 5 times (which is more than I normally do) so I'm sore but that's to be expected. Otherwise I'm doing good and feeling 100%. I still don't want to get Covid, but I'm definitely feeling a bit better about the situation knowing my body will recognize and fight the disease should I contract it in the months to come.
I tried to recap what I thought might be important for those who got J&J too (or are wondering about their loved ones who got it) but let me know if you had questions that I maybe didn't cover. I'll give you my recollection as best as I can.