Yesterday at about 10 a.m. I got the booster shot for the Pfizer vaccine at the University of Chicago Hospital, which was offering it to all staff (I count). I confess that when I called my doctor to ask his advice, he didn’t think it was necessary. This is because given the low infectivity rates, a waning of immunity over six months of about 10% makes almost no difference in your chance of landing in the hospital or dying. I raised the objection that I wasn’t worried about those outcomes, but simply about getting sick, as even a breakthrough infection can last several weeks and make you miserable. When I added that I was likely to be on a ship in Antarctica this winter, and wanted extra protection in that situation, he said that that a booster was fine for me.
Here I’m reporting my physiological reaction to the booster.
I had no reaction to the first Pfizer jab save a bit of soreness in the arm that abated within a day.
The second shot, though, had more severe effects, as it does with many people. I got that one about 8 a.m. on January 25, and was fine for the rest of the day. I also woke up the next day and felt good. The side effects didn’t set in until about noon on day 2: a flu-like feeling, malaise, some chills, and general debility. I went home early, a no-no for me, and woke up the next day completely fine.
I suspected that the effects of the booster would resemble those of the second shot, which represented my antibody reaction to the spike protein after my system was programmed. And, sure enough, that’s what happened. The effects did come on a bit earlier. My arm was sore most of yesterday, but otherwise I felt fine. I woke up this morning, though, and knew I was AFFLICTED. I trudged into work in the dark and labored away at those three posts, and then took a nap at my desk for an hour. After checking on the ducks (there are ten now, including Honey and Dorothy), I still felt like the bottom of a birdcage, and so took two Advil. I don’t know if it was the pills or the side effects are wearing off, but I feel much better now.
Everyone has to make their own decision on this, though I see nearly all the gub’mint experts are recommending getting a booster. To me, it’s worth a half day of malaise to avoid the possibility of a breakthrough infection, even though a booster may not have a substantial effect on even that.
If you’ve had yours, report in below on the effects.
Oh, and I have received NO pictures of polydactylous cats from any reader, despite my plea. Seriously, I don’t ask much from you, so if you own a Super Scratcher, send me a photo or two (paw and cat, perhaps), and a short paragraph of explanation.