Pre-post PSA: This is not a political statement, or a story forcing you to get a vaccine. This is just my experience getting my COVID-19 vaccine booster, and some information that I thought might be helpful to others preparing to get theirs. For reference, my original vaccine was the Johnson and Johnson (one-shot) one, and my booster was a Pfizer.

1. Don't get it in your dominant arm.

The nurse let me choose what arm I'd like my vaccine in, and I picked my right arm, just because it was closer to her. I wish I would have picked my non-dominant arm instead because I lifted my right arm to pick something up and it's pretty sore.

2. The Johnson and Johnson vaccine doesn't protect against the omicron variant.

During my appointment, my nurse practitioner informed me that the one-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine was tested and doesn't protect against the new omicron variant. Luckily getting the Pfizer booster does.

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3. You are fully protected in 2 days, but within 5 days the booster is almost 100% effective.

Another thing my nurse practitioner shared is that the booster is fully protecting your body at the two-week mark, but within five days of getting it you are almost 100% protected. Just in time for Christmas!

4. The side effects are way less intense than the original vaccine.

I was worried about the side effects of getting my booster, because when I got the original vaccine I ended up with 18 hours of body chills, my skin felt like it was crawling, and I had intense muscle aches. It all lifted at once and then I was fine, but it was brutal until it ended. My booster has proved to have no side effects other than a sore arm where I got the shot.

5. Block off time for a nap.

I did accidentally take a two-hour nap the afternoon I got the booster. But I'm kinda thinking that was a culmination of a lot of factors. (Comfy couch, rainy day, a hard workout that morning, I got up at 4 am, everyone else in my house was napping, etc.) Either way, treat yourself to a nap, you deserve it.

Overall, I'm happy I got my booster shot. The way I see it is that even if I get COVID, at least I did everything I could to protect myself, and chances are good any case I get now will be mild and not require a hospital stay. The more bed space I can keep free, and less workload I can put on medical staff is a win in my book.

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