Despite the safety issues around the AstraZeneca vaccine, I decided to go ahead and get my shot last Sunday, but I did have a good think for a few days about whether or not to proceed. My heart was aflutter like a small bird.

I guess with no community transmission currently in Australia, the tendency might be to hold off getting vaccinated. Unfortunately for me, high risk and under sexty, I didn’t feel I had that choice. For all intents and purposes, we so far have only one vaccine available to immunise the population against Covid (tiny quantities of the Pfizer vaccine excepting). Such is life in a global pandemic and thankfully that vaccine, the AstraZeneca vaccine, is manufactured here.

Our government is in an invidious position. It wants to open our international borders but that would be electoral suicide and poor public policy if it did that before all Australians who want to be vaccinated can be vaccinated. Even then, the risk to public health of virus variants that escape current vaccines is considerable. Earlier this year, our PM said that he was aiming for 95% of the Australian population to be vaccinated. He appears to have abandoned that ambition. What the current target is, nobody really knows. Until recently, I didn’t realise how small changes in the virus reproduction factor and vaccine efficacy could disproportionately affect the level of herd immunity required to prevent circulation of the virus. I was shocked when I watched the Drs Chris and Xande van Tulleken’s doco, What We Know Now, and they punched some numbers into an equation to reflect changes in the reproduction rate with more highly infectious variants and the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine against those variants. When they did that, the herd immunity required (through vaccination) rose to 97%. That is a monumental target, perhaps even titanic.

You can see where I am going here. We have no vaccines approved for children here in Australia, vaccine hesitancy is increasing (it is currently wobbling around 35%), our available vaccine is not the most effective of all the choices, and now there is a rare but off-putting blood clot risk that will be making people extra nervous. These issues will be exercising our government’s mind.

My chronically ill father is waiting to see how it goes for me before he will even consider having the AstraZeneca vaccine. I might have thought twice about having the AstraZeneca vaccine if I wasn’t in a high risk group and if I had children who depended on me. I read the European Medicine Agency’s Signal Report (I’m like that) and discussed the risks with my family. Perhaps because my kids are both in their 20s and blasé about personal risk, or they feel we are too much for this world or are concerned about more virulent mutations if we don’t knock this virus out of circulation, or maybe because they are truly altruistic, both indicated they would have no hesitation taking the AstraZeneca vaccine.

We all have a stake in preventing the virus from becoming more virulent but that will be very difficult to achieve without really excellent and the safest possible vaccines for all. We are fortunate to have so many choices of good vaccines across the world. Globally, we never thought we would be in this position at the start of the pandemic. This does not stop us from wanting the best vaccines possible. We might need miracles, very good planning, excellent regulatory oversight, some bravery and a great deal of cooperation to get vaccines in as many arms as possible.

The PM and his party have been the recipient of miracles in the past, especially at election time. In the pre-election budget next month, perhaps there will be funding for actual investments in onshore mRNA vaccine manufacturing. Perhaps there will also be new funding for new vaccines and other medical research and development. Perhaps there will be funding for Continuous Glucose Monitoring for all Type 1 diabetics (thought I would throw that in there). We shall see.

I had a headache, muscle ache and slept for two days after my first vaccine shot. I’m going well now. I shall see what happens over the next two weeks. With any luck, I’ll be fine.

I feel like singing so let’s have a song – Take A Chance On Me by the one and only ABBA.

Sing it with me.

Take care, everyone.

Kind Regards.
Tracy.

32 thoughts on “I Was Shot

  1. I’m glad to hear that you were able to get a vacination, Tracy. I hope you’ll continue to have no ill effects. I hope Australia fares better than the US. Older people are getting vacinated, but thanks to risky, irresponsible behavior, we’re into another surge, and the virus is mutating.

    Like

      1. You’re absolutely right, Tracy. It’s hard to know where this nightmare will end. My husband and I are still sheltering in place and have no plans to change that for the foreseeable future.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tracy – I have read your post – read it carefully . . . you have a good understanding of facts and have put such down clearly. As I have a strong and ongoing medical background I disqualify myself from a lengthy ‘discussion’ here. I am older than you and have quite a few morbidness but I belong to the 35% and growing ‘hesitancy’ group – better the devil you know than the one you do not. Actually much of my study and thinking lies around the seemingly CRP ( c-reactive protein index) rise and longterm problems increased inflammation may bring to all bodily organs. Like your father I’ll wait – living in semi-rural Australia and with care I can. Wish you the best . . . hope the second injection also goes well . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Eha, thanks for commenting. Your work on CRP sounds really interesting. I haven’t heard whether the vaccines increase inflammatory responses. Covid does for sure. In fact I haven’t heard much about at all how about different vaccines are tolerated by people with auto-immune disease. This may be because I never consult a doctor for my own autoimmune disease except to get a script for insulin! So really I know nothing at all.
      The government may find that there are quite a number of people in the over 50 group and people in all age groups with morbidities that are very reluctant to be singled out to take the AZ vaccine and not be offered an alternative. After hearing the discussion tonight, the level of discrimination concerns me. Anyway, hopefully I will live to complain about that another day. 🙂
      Take care. I’m sure you will be closely monitoring developments.

      Like

      1. Personally I am hugely pleased at the stand our Government has taken. I DO wish it would not be blamed for matters it cannot change . . . everybody including the ‘vaccines’ manufacturers are in a new world ! Yes, Australia should have had more opportunities booked but it did follow the most logical line for us. Nobody could guess ahead of time and a lot more than blood clots are in play. The one factor I feel I can comment on – at the moment age 50 has been decided on as pro- or possibly anti-AZ usage. Logic should tell anyone reading the ‘vaccine’ does not know whether one is 47 or 54 !!! We are very lucky in Australia at the moment and 24/7 work is obviously being done by manufacturers . . . some feel they cannot wait . . . I love my life far too much not to . . . best . . .

        Like

  3. A very thought provoking post. I don’t expect to get vaccinated any time soon so I haven’t given it a lot of thought. A family member who works in healthcare was vaccinated and had a similar reaction to you. As for the politics… at least this time around the election focus of our so-called democracy may cause sensible policy from our PM.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hope all goes well for you Tracy. It is quite a decision to make. At this point our doctor is giving out flu shots first as she has very limited supplies of covid vaccine and, she says, you have to wait minimum of 2 weeks after flu shot before you can be given the other jab. We get the flu shot next week. I must admit I’m tending to wait and see before I go ahead with the covid vaccine

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am sure there will be much lobbying for the over 50s to have a choice as well, Pauline. You will have a better feel for whether there are contingency plans by the time you are ready to get your shots. As for me, I am trying not to think about it over the next couple of weeks. I’ll concentrate on my mosaic. I’ve told my TL that I would like him to complete it for me if I fall off my perch. I’ve barely started it so I will have to get a move on in case something happens.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to admit to being a little nervous about the blood clotting issue. I’ve been a well person all my life and I would hate to wind up in hospital due to something that was supposed to keep me safe. However, my turn is still such a long way off that I have plenty of time to watch and wait in my isolated little corner of Tassie. No doubt when the time comes I will go.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m in Team AZ, and like you felt not great for a day or so after the first jab. It must be hard to be in one of the at-risk groups and make a decision, but in the end, as you concluded, not being vaccinated is the biggest risk of all. For all of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m glad you’re doing well now Tracy and we are booked in for our jabs later today 💛

    Like

      1. Thank you Tracy! We had a good walk with Eivor and Pearl this morning and then hubby and I walked just over two miles to the hospital and back for our jabs. So far so good. We didn’t want to drive there because then they make you wait inside for fifteen minutes in case of side effects. We preferred fresh air and movement to keep the circulation going and we’ll be taking the dogs out again later 💚 xxx

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad to hear so far so good after the shot. I would say vaccines are working based on the results we see here with the elderly. The deaths have decreased and the number of cases too. The concern now lies with those who were not considered high risk, the younger than 50. I too got AZ this past weekend. It is only offered in SK to those over 55. I was hesitant. I could have phoned for an appt. and may have got one of the alternatives, but they have been spotty on their availability. So, when the pop up clinic was offered I joined the line. Side effects left me on the sidelines for about 4 days, but I seem to have mostly returned to my old self. The information I have is that in about 7-10 days we should have about 40-60% immunity and in about 2 weeks 90%. But, I won’t be skipping out on all the other precautions. Continue to be well and safe Tracy!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My second dose should be in August. They’ve delayed second doses here to give more first doses. Unfortunately, teachers are not prioritized here, nor are any of the other essential workers except some health care workers. Personally, I really believe they should be rethinking the priorities.
        Ophelia is much happier, she doesn’t take kindly to being refused walks!

        Liked by 1 person

  9. My husband got his first shot a couple of weeks ago. I am going to get mine soon. Trying to recover from some dental surgery first. I kind of don’t want to get it. But, at this point it seems the thing to do. Hope you continue to feel fine. …Love the song! That will go through my head as I head out for my walk in a few minutes 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I strangely have not much to say about the vaccine. (I’m in the US, not in a prioritized group in my state so not likely to get it anytime soon, have followed the vaccine roll-out in other countries / AstraZeneca risks only tangentially as a self-absorbed American, etc.)
    I’m writing to commend you on your excellent title! So wonderfully attention-grabbing!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s