First Dose of MODERNA


First Dose of MODERNA

Vaccination Process in Poland

Photo by SylwiaCam

After a long wait and many times of my first dose of the vaccine being postponed by e-Zdrowie [e-Health], Today I did get my shot. 

Step one, life decision. From the very beginning I was sceptical about the whole vaccine thing, vaccines that were developed in such a rush. I am sceptical about their effects and side effects. We still don’t know how the vaccine really works, and how it’s going to affect our body.

There’s many options, it might work as a placebo or help with immunity for other viruses, e.g. the regular flu. The vaccines might influence our health and life in a longer perspective. Sadly there’s one more eventuality which people using common sense should consider and think about. That is a symptom which might occur in a year, 2, in 10 years, or in the next generations, or maybe never. The last option would be the best. 

What I mentioned above is just a part of the various reasons motivating people to postpone the decision about getting vaccines right now. A healthy approach is to wait and see how a new product works before we purchase it. 

There are also many reasons why it is good to consider taking Covid vaccine. Going back to so-called “normality” won’t happen. We have to learn how to live in a new normal. Many of us for sure saw it coming a long time ago, an upcoming “New order”. I’m not going to go into details now, maybe in a different article. 

Going back to the vaccines…

As I wrote in one of my articles Vaccination Process in Poland the process of waiting for the first dose of MODERNA was long. 

Step two, time to hit the road. After several times postponing my vaccine appointment by e-Zdrowie [e-Health] I eventually received a confirmation message. The next day, on Monday afternoon I hit the road to get my first dose of MODERNA.

My appointment was scheduled at a temporary vaccination point located at a school gym. The room was nicely divided and marked. There was a parking lot right next to the entrance which was very convenient for people traveling by cars. There was a military tent by the entrance as well and a few young soldiers inside without masks. When it comes to their behaviour I have a few comments but I’ll abstain from comments.

Step three, too late to run away. After walking through the door I went straight to the desk where a doctor, as they told me, was working. I handed her my form, she asked me some questions about some of the points from my form to make sure I understood it. She asked if I had any questions and answered.

From this moment there’s no turning back. To be honest, as for conditions when it comes to health service and its standards, the doctor was quite kind and chat with her, too. 

I also asked why my first dose appointment was postponed so many times? Was it caused by any delays in supply? The doctor answered that “MODERNA is very popular among you. Maybe because it has less side effects right after vaccination”. 

A doctor or nurse will hand you a little card with vaccination info, a vaccine code, name and the date. You hang on to it!

Photo by SylwiaCam

Due to my earlier allergic reaction the doctor told me it’s better for me to wait about 30 mins after I get my shot. Standard procedure is 15 mins.

As a side note, when it comes to waiting time after, standards may differ. To compare, one of my family members was vaccinated in a different location (a clinic) and a nurse working there was getting out of the room once in a while literally yelling at patients who’s been waiting in the corridor. In an angry way she was saying “What are you still doing here? How long are you waiting?”. Patients were responding “10 mins, 12, 6 mins”, and she was yelling “Go home! How long are you going to sit here!?”.

As you can see the standards may differ. Much, I suppose, depends on the person. 

Step four, a needle isn’t that big. Next I went behind the curtain where two nurses were already waiting. One of them took my form and took care of computer work, the other one was preparing a vaccine dose. A multidose vial was laying on the little metal table. A needle was already stabbed into it.

The nurse changed a syringe only, that way the vaccine doesn’t have contact with the air, as I’m guessing. She filled up mine and attached a new needle to it. She wiped my arm and I felt the needle going through my skin tissue. The injection alone wasn’t painful.

 The nurse put some plaster on it right after. And you’re done.

Step five, formalities. After the vaccination I walked up to another desk where I got my next appointment scheduled. At the same time I received a message from e-Zdrowie [e-Health] with the date and time of the second dose appointment. Both might change. 

Step six, life is waiting. On the other end of the gym there were chairs waiting for patients who received their dose. If you have an option to sit there for a bit do it. I heard a woman who sat down next to me saying “15 mins? This long?”. Honestly, I’d rather sit there for a while longer than faint on the street right after. But as you can see, not all people think logically…

Photo by SylwiaCam
Photo by SylwiaCam

Step seven, yes, the arm hurts. After approx 5 mins I started to feel tingle and my hand was getting numb. It is a rather typical symptom for all the vaccines. It’s good to observe your body though and make sure nothing worse is happening, especially if you have any neurological problems in general. 

Step eight, home time. After around 30 mins of me waiting and sitting on one of these chairs I decided to go home. No one was watching me, counting time or deciding if I could go home yet or not. It was a very individual decision. 

Step nine, it will be a rough day/night. When you get back home it’s very likely you will feel that you just got vaccinated. Some people will have to go to work, I know it will be difficult and I’m sorry you have to go through that. 

I felt pretty intense arm pain. I wasn’t able to move my arm, keep it straight, not mentioning holding something heavy. From my elbow to hand I felt as if it was swollen and numb. I could barely feel things. By the evening I started to feel tired and sleepy (more than usual), and had difficulties reading. The first night was rough, a bit of fever, strong arm pain didn’t let me fall asleep. The next day wasn’t very easy either. Every next day pain was getting less intense, yet I could still feel dizziness and dificulty reading. We will see what will happen next. 

To sum things up, I just want to add that it is your decision whether or not you want to take your vaccine now. Mine was very difficult to make. I had many reasons for and against it. In the end I decided to risk it and try to get my dose. All this time I’m thinking if it was a good choice. But it will get more clear over years, or maybe generations. Good luck!

Written by Sylwia S.

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