As I will be turning 60 this year I qualified for the Astra Zeneca vaccination pilot for those born between 1957 and 1961. I considered myself lucky to be able to receive a vaccination and turned up early morning Saturday 20th March at Rexall Pharmacy on Bloor St East. This was may early birthday present and one of the most significant events in my COVID-19 world!
The booking process through Rexall was quite easy and allowed you to select a location close to where you live. All you needed was information on your medical history, your doctor, and of course your health card number.
Once I had inputted my information and dates of availability I received an e mail with a final set of dates to choose from. I decided to have the vaccination on a weekend so that I would have time to recover from any side effects.
The whole process took no more than two weeks, a couple of e mails and a pre vaccination list of questions. On arrival at the pharmacy Rexall also provided me with information on what would happen and what to expect. After filling in all the final details and presenting my health card I only had to wait 10 minutes untill I was called.
Medical questions were asked again: if I had a cold, fever, if I had ever had COVID-19, if I had recently travelled outside of Canada and a few other questions. I entered the small room with the nurse and the AstraZeneka vaccine was administered. I was asked to sit for 15 minutes to see if there were any possible side effects or allergic reactions. The effects of the COVID-19 vaccine could be a sore arm, fever, chills, and dizziness.
Once I left Rexall, I was feeling great and ready for a little treat. Fortunately there was a McDonalds was in the same block as Rexall, so I had my favourite breakfast: egg Mcmuffin, hash browns and coffee! I then headed back home to the safety of my condo.
I was fine for the rest of the day until around 6 p.m. Then it hit me. I did not have a fever, but I was feeling extremely tired, dizzy and light-headed; I felt like I was on a ferris wheel, going round and round. This lasted for two days before I started to feel normal again. Such a reaction to a vaccine can be a good sign that your immune system is gearing up and I was happy that my body had responded!
COVID-19 is not like the flu. It can make you extremely ill, you may even require hospitalization and for some there is a risk of death. The young and healthy are not immune. So getting vaccinated is important.
The more we are vaccinated the less likely COVID-19 and its variants will spread amongst us. There are many reasons why we need to be vaccinated: the many needless deaths and severe illness that persons and families have experienced, the impact on mental health, financial security and the economy, on our health care system and our education of the young are some of the many reasons. Perhaps the most important reason going forward is to prevent opportunities for the virus to mutate and develop into strains that can bypass the defenses built by vaccination.
I have posted a not so flattering picture of me receiving the COVID-19 vaccination to encourage others to do their part in the fight against COVID.
Stay safe and socially distanced and Roll Up Your Sleeves for the COVID-19 Vaccination!