My Third COVID Vaccine Dose Experience
Recently, a third COVID-19 vaccine dose was made available to immunocompromised individuals.1
You have to, of course, get the same brand of vaccine that is the same as your first 2 shots. For example, 2 shots of the Moderna vaccine means you get a third dose of the Moderna vaccine (which is what I got).1
Accessing a third Moderna vaccine
I got my third vaccine as soon as I could after talking with my rheumatologist and primary doctor, of course! Thankfully, CVS made the process as easy as possible and, within 15 minutes, I had my third vaccine.
That's not to say that what came after was enjoyable—it certainly wasn't. But in the ongoing pandemic, it feels nice now to have a third layer of protection against COVID-19.
Onset on possible vaccine side effects
Immediately after getting my third dose, I was able to go about my daily business as if nothing was wrong. I did a few errands, including shopping for some food that would help me feel better in anticipation of not feeling great given the vaccine.
After a few errands, I started feeling a little weak, so I returned home because some of the side effects were starting earlier than I expected. Once the evening started, I felt awful. I had body aches, a fever, and just this general feeling of malaise/sickness.
I really couldn't do anything at all except sit in my chair and lay my head back. It did not feel great, and what was worse is that this feeling and these symptoms lasted for exactly 2 days.
Managing fatigue symptoms
During those 2 days, I mostly laid low. Admittedly, it wasn't the best time to get the vaccine because I had my first week of classes and being back in the office on campus. I needed all of my energy to feel good and survive that week. Which I did — barely.
Take time to slow down and recuperate
While also dealing with some RA fatigue, I recognized that this was my body telling me that I needed to relax and heal, not just with the vaccine but in general. As usual, I had been going at 1000 percent and pushing myself too much, leading me to a point of exhaustion and frustration that was overwhelming.
The vaccine ended up being something that helped me calm down and realize how hard I had been working—and that I didn’t need to be pushing myself that hard all the time.
An additional dose offers more protection
To be clear, I am happy that I was able to get a third dose to be even more protected against COVID-19.
Given both my health and my job where I work with undergraduate students and people more generally (and it doesn't help that a lot of undergraduate students aren't wearing masks at this point), the vaccine was something I really needed in order to be protected and to feel comfortable being back in person at my job.
Admittedly, given the current situation in Florida, there isn’t much to feel comfortable about. But at least personally, I can find some resolve in the fact that I am exploring this rather uncertain world with a little more COVID-19 protection.
You know you have RA when [select all that apply in your experience]: