My Experience of Having The Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine

Disclaimer – In this post, I will be sharing my experience of having the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. I am not a medical professional, therefore if you have any concerns or questions about the vaccine, please speak to your GP.

Having been classed as CEV (Clinically Extremely Vulnerable) and susceptible to Coronavirus, I, along with many other disabled people have been waiting for the vaccine roll-out. In the UK, there are three vaccines: Oxford-AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Moderna. All three vaccines serve the same purpose; they are just manufactured at different places.

Recently in the media, it has been confirmed that blood clots have been linked to the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which is understandably concerning. However, in my opinion, this has not caused any further concern for me, as like with every type of medication and vaccine that has been created, they need to state its potential side effects that have been reported or linked.

My First Dose

On the 23rd January (my birthday!), I had an appointment to receive the first dose of the Covid vaccine, I didn’t know which type I would be having until they asked a few questions to assess my circumstances. Due to my hearing loss, and wearing face masks, I knew it would be much easier and quicker if my Mum spoke on my behalf, rather then the Doctor removing their mask and trying to get me to understand what they were saying.

Fortunately, after Mum explaining about my disabilities, she only had to ask me one question, which was, “Any questions?” to which I turned to face the Doctor and asked, “What are the side effects?” The Doctor then told Mum which she then demonstrated to me, which was my arm hurting or achy muscles, a headache and tiredness. After being assessed, the Doctor decided that I would be having the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

I opted for my right arm to have the first dose administrated in. It was over within seconds, and my arm immediately felt sore where the needle went in. However, this is usual for me after any vaccine. (What I didn’t anticipate for was that my arm would continue to hurt for the next six days). I was given a card with my name on, the type of vaccine I was given, and the date it was given. Along with a leaflet which explained the potential side effects. We thanked the Doctor and left the surgery.

In the evening of the same day, I started to feel cold and couldn’t get warm, and I felt very restless. So, within the first twelve hours of receiving my first dose, my arm was hurting, I was experiencing the chills and felt restless. On the second day, I was experiencing mild flu-like symptoms, which included: aching muscles (all over), a headache, tiredness, and generally feeling unwell. I started taking some paracetamol which eased the headache and achy muscles slightly.

On the third day, I felt a little better than the day before, but still not 100%. I still felt a little under the weather, but had regained some energy. My arm, on the other hand, was at its most painful which carried through to the fourth day and I woke up with a very stiff arm, and was unable to raise my arm above my shoulder without causing me to wince in pain.

Although, I was feeling a lot better in myself and was now only contending with a very stiff and painful arm. As mentioned above, my arm continued to hurt for six days in total.

My Second Dose

On the 17th of April, I had an appointment to receive my second dose of the vaccine. Whilst waiting in the queue, I was checking my purse to find my vaccination card, and no matter how many times that I looked, I just could not find it. So, this caused me anxiety as I didn’t want to delay other patients receiving their vaccine.

Thankfully, I was reassured that it was on the system that I had already had my first dose, and that I would be given a new card and if I ended up finding my original card, then I could just staple them together. Also, this time round, I had bought Mum a face mask with a transparent covering, which meant I could read her lips without her having to lower her mask.

Again, like the previous appointment, Mum answered the questions that were asked, just to speed things up. The Nurse picked up a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine and administrated it into my left arm. Now i’m fully vaccinated, woo! I was sceptical as my arm wasn’t hurting, I thought, ‘what is this sorcery?’

Within the first twelve hours of receiving my second dose, I had a little bit of a headache, and felt restless. Again, I took some paracetamol which helped ease my headache, and helped me to sleep. On the second day, I felt very tired, and a little under the weather, but nothing in comparison to the first time. My arm still felt fine, no bruising or tenderness whatsoever.

On the third day, I wasn’t feeling 100% but I was very close. It felt like an instance where you just feel ‘off’, but can’t really pinpoint as to what it is. Some more paracetamol was taken to see if it would help, which it did. By the fourth day, I felt like my normal self again. So, this time round, it was a lot better and I was pleasantly surprised that my arm didn’t hurt at all!

I wanted to share my experience with you as not everyone will react the same with each dose. If you are offered any of the three vaccines (I apologise, I don’t know if there are other types in different countries), then please have it. The world needs to recover from this pandemic, each step we take towards helping it to recover, will slowly give us back some level of normality.

Have you had the vaccine? If so, did you experience any side effects?

21 thoughts on “My Experience of Having The Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine

  1. Hey Shirley, l had my first dose March 22nd and my second is due on the 10th June. I experienced no side effects what so ever and yet Suze who as you know is recovering from aggressive cancer treatment went through similiar side effects to you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Bruce, glad you had no side effects but i’m sorry to hear that Suze experienced the same as me, I hope her second dose is much easier on her. It well and truly affects each person differently, you’d think with me and all my health problems, i’d really struggle with the side effects, but instead it was Ewan who reacted badly to the side effects (not allergic reaction, just several intense side effects).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve heard people have had similar experienced with the AZ vaccine – my mum included. She had chills, severe fatigue and complete loss of appetite for 2 days and didn’t feel 100% for the rest of the week – she described it as how you feel when you’re coming down with a cold. I’ve not had mine yet and I’ll admit I’m nervous about the side effects but if it gets us out of this bloody pandemic sooner I’ll take it regardless! Thank you for sharing your experience with it, I think so many people are put off by the side effects but we all need to do our bit to get to the other side of this! X

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I was very apprehensive as I was dreading the side effects, however it is true when people say in retrospect, would rather contend with the side effects of the vaccine than the actual virus itself. I don’t like vaccine’s at the best of times but we have, unfortunately and tragically, seen how devastating this virus is, and I want to keep me and my family as safe as possible. You’ll be OK lovely xx

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We had the Pfizer vaccine, both shots. My husband had no side effects(he is 70.) I am 73 and had a slight headache and sore arm after the first shot and a slight headache and a sore arm after the second. Very mildly sore, just enough to not want to sleep on that side for a night. My daughter aged 45 had the first Pfizer shot and had a bad headache.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I shared my experience of the first dose, on my blog and I plan to post experience of my second dose, after I have had it June, some days after.

    I had the same vaccine as you. I am deaf too and it was just me, no one else, but a security guard changed to a face visor and he repeated to me what they were saying and happening, then I answered accordingly to the different people I met at different points in the vaccine centre.

    For 3 days was my flu type days, the day after was my worst, which I slept all day, other than lunch and dinner.
    My shivers started in the early hours. I had a touch of it in the day, but the worst was then.
    Fatigue was the big part for me.
    I had a bit if a headache which paracetamol helped with that and I felt nausea during those days, but it wasn’t troublesome.
    I had a sore arm, which was a bit longer. It wasn’t too bad during my week off work I made, just in case because of the fatigue, but for the first two days back the following week, I did find myself squirming while trying to work as a cleaner, for about the first 2, or 3 days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing Liz, and I’m glad that the security guard helped you to understand what others were saying. I’m sorry you had to contend with the side effects 💚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing this! People who are afraid to get the vaccine because of side effects need to be made aware that the media tends to overblow the amount of side effects that people are having because most people don’t get the side effects, and if they do they’re mild like in your case. Or they only last a couple of days. I got my two doses of the moderna vaccine. And like you my first does that hurt my arm when it went in because I think she hit a nerve, and that arm hurt for days and I couldn’t lay on it. So for the second one I asked to have it put in the other arm and that didn’t hurt going in. It did hurt for the day following but then it didn’t hurt anymore. I didn’t get any of the other side effects that you talk about and neither did my parents, who also got the moderna vaccine and they’re in their 80s. But I do know people who have had side effects from the moderna vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine so it all depends on your own personal makeup. Again thanks for sharing your story because we do need to get as many people vaccinated as possible to put an end to this pandemic.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Carmel, I’m glad you all have been fully vaccinated! I agree that the media blows things out of proportion, its really concerning that they get paid for basically scaremongering. Forever seeing the horror stories and never enough of the good 💚


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