...because you thought Sweden was Switzerland!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The price of immunity

(That's not my arm, FYI)

As some of you might have already heard, a number of countries, including Sweden, have bought in H1N1 flu vaccines for their whole populations in anticipation of a possible next wave of (a stronger variant of) the flu. The risk groups – children, health care workers and people with chronic illness and their relatives – were the first to be vaccinated, and the rest of the population will start getting in line for it in the next few weeks. Even the university will vaccinate all students, teachers, guest students and guest lecturers. You bet they're really taking this seriously, even though (for now!) the threat still seems distant and conspiracy theories abound about the mass vaccine, not to mention news mistaking the temporary side effects of the vaccine for the real deal. In October, already a million (a ninth) of the population received their H1N1 vaccines; in our region, they said as much as 35% are already immune.

Marcus and I had our shots yesterday. The vaccination itself went fast and smooth, with not much of a queue either, as we would have expected. After filling and signing some papers, the whole affair was done in 4 minutes. What side effects were we told to expect? Well, aside from possibly having harmless cold-like symptoms, the nurse said a lot of people reported arm pain for several days. Several days!

We walked out of there thinking that we would probably have pain just on the spot where we got the injection. But now I realize that when she said arm pain, she really meant arm pain. I feel that I've been lifting heavy dumbbells all day with my left arm. Or got a bad punching. We read online that lifting stuff with the affected arm wouldn't cause any problems despite the pain, but right now just lifting the arm is an inconvenience; I don't feel that I have so much energy left there. It's also extremely sensitive and hurts when I put on clothes, soap the area, or move my shoulders. And last night (an experienced shared by many who already had their vaccines), we woke up several times oww-ing every time we had to turn in bed. Ha! You should have heard us, we were groaning like two old people with arthritis and I couldn't help chuckling through the pain. But this feeling for several days, huh! That's the price for immunity, it seems.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Lea Guerero said...

haha! sounds like rabies shots! except that i had to get it 3 times in as many months ;__;

2:55 PM

 
Blogger Ahoy! said...

@Lea: Marcus has to take a second shot (because he's in the risk group). Did you have arm pain each time you had a shot? The same intensity?

9:33 PM

 

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