Getting vaccinated… again

Recovery in progress

Last week, I had my first jab of Biontech, which is great, except I have been fully vaccinated with Sinovac before leaving The Philippines. But as the politics of Covid-19 vaccines goes, I am legally unvaccinated here, since Germany, like most European countries, does not recognize the China-made vaccine.

Some physicians and majority of the population have not even heard of Sinovac and have no idea what it is! Very interesting since this is the most available and widely used vaccine in my side of the world.

After consulting two physicians at home and two physicians here, we decided to get fully vaccinated with Biontech. Again. For freedom of movement purposes. There are no studies yet as to the effects of a cross-vaccination between Sinovac and Biontech, but I guess I will let you know.

I felt no major side effects when I had two of my Sinovac jabs. Maybe some mild headache and fatigue, but it can also be due to the sheer stress of securing a vaccination in my country. It took all day for starters, with a bajillion other people. Not fun. But there was nothing to complain about really. I was sort of proud of my immune system for how it handled the vaccinations.

…Which is why it was a surprise when I had major chills 24 hours after my first Biontech dose. We went to visit Markus’ grandmother and it was wintertime when I got home. I was covered from head to foot, with two duvets and a wool blanket on top of me, plus a hottie, but I remained cold for about five hours. Long night.

I know chills are a normal vaccine side effect, but it is a wonder how my body reacted this time, considering it is supposed to be on its third date with the coronavirus vaccine. Also, my arm hurt like hell. I could not even lift it! Fortunately, recovery was fast. I woke up feeling better and able to use my arm.

Still, this full dose cross-vaccination stirs the dust in my head. What will happen to my body? Did Sinovac work? Will I be super immune to Covid-19 after getting four doses of the vaccine? Is the world aware of the full ramifications of being selective about vaccines? How is social justice defined when I am able to take two full doses of different jabs when many people in The Philippines have not even received one? Who will be responsible as the world is further divided by this pandemic?

55 thoughts on “Getting vaccinated… again

  1. A unique perspective on vaccinations in a global pandemic that doesn’t respect geopolitical boundaries, so thank you for sharing your experience.
    While we don’t yet know the long-term impacts of any of these vaccinations, I’m of the mindset that it’s better to be safe-ish (with vaccinations, even if mixed-matched) than sorry (trying to fight an infection without prior antibodies induced by a vaccination) and becoming severely ill and/or dying.
    Good to see you posting, Micah; you’ve been missed!

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    1. I agree, getting vaccinated helps. Unfortunately, I heard vaccination rates are low in our town. Somehow, the people cannot be bothered to get vaccinated. Sigh. And thank you! I am feeling better here in Germany so I am slowly able to blog again. Missing everyone!

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  2. Wow, wish you have more immune power than other people. We are here getting ready for the 3rd shot. My reaction to the first two shots from Moderna are awful. My arm hurt so much for two days and my body takes a week to recover.

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    1. Lucky. Heaven knows when a third shot will be available in The Ph. But in Germany they are talking about a booster and perhaps expect it early next year. And I am with you with the side effects. Not fun!

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  3. Interesting that a vaccine from elsewhere isn’t recognized. I wonder what that will ultimately mean for travel. Will I not be allowed into a certain country because I’m vaccinated with a vaccine they didn’t approve? It will be interesting to see the results of receiving 4 doses.

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      1. Might be. I wonder if more vaccines will become accepted as the world opens up again. I hope so! As long as they’re effective, I don’t see why it should matter which one you have.

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  4. Gosh! Your reaction to the Biotech sound dreadful …
    And you have raised questions which many are asking. It really is potentially divisive … Reminds me of The Sneetches by Dr Seuss – have you read it?

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  5. Hay, the last part….
    Anyway, like what the comments already said above, when you get side effects like these, it means the vaccine & ur immune system is working daw. I’m also deciding if I should get the booster shot in a few months. I got Sinopharm and sabi nila, you can take the booster shot 6 months after your 2nd dose.

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    1. Is Sinopharm like Sinovac? I really have no idea what happens next. I just had to get vaccinated here for legal purposes. Almost two years into this pandemic, one would think governments and WHO know what to do. Sigh.

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            1. This is good. I just hope the world figures out this vax situation soon. It causes another divide that we do not need. Here in Germany, there is one party that complains about the divide between unvaccinated and vaccinated people and how the unvaccinated lose some privilege.

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    1. Aha. Yes, this is the vax from China. In The Ph, it was the first vax that was made available. I think China may have even donated the first batch. Now other vaccines are available in my country and some people are picky. When they know it is Sinovac, they refuse vaccination. What is the most used brand there?

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      1. Oh that’s cool! In Jamaica, the most used brand is Astra Zeneca but we recently got Pfizer (the leading brand in the USA) and Jamaicans have been flocking to that brand with many expressing preference for it, just because of the mindset that if it’s FDA (USA) approved then it should be better.
        However, I’ve been fully vaxxed since May with Astra Zeneca and I wouldn’t change my choice. So far, it’s been proving to be rather effective. 🙂 Stay safe!

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        1. This preference is also seen in The Ph. When they learn it is Sinovac, people do not go to the vax center and flood it when it is another brand. My sisters, who are both healthcare workers, received Az, too, and so far so good!

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Micha, wow! I must confess that I had never had of the vaccines you mention here, till now. I am sure all is fine, but please do update us on how you get on. In the meantime, enjoy your travels!

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    1. Crazy, isn’t it? I suppose covid management is still to each its own. One would think some order is available two years into it. Thank you for your best wishes. I am mainly just here in our city and not traveling around Germany yet. Maybe after I get the second shot.

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  7. Micah,
    You raise some really good questions. I wish everyone who wanted the vaccine, had access to getting it. The thing is, if you have access, then of course you and everyone who can should get it. This virus…I hope it gets wiped out; though from what I hear, it’s here to stay. I hope you talk to your doctor if you can about how doses can interfere with one another or if you can have too much of a good thing and if so, what that looks like. Just trying to be cautious here. So glad you’re getting a chance to experience fall. I’m in Texas, and I’ve never experienced a New England/northern fall. On my bucket list! 🙂 Mona

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    1. Yes, you are right. We have consulted four physicians who said it seems okay. Of course, this is just their opinion based on anecdotes. The science is not yet there with cross-vax between Sinovac and Biontech. Astrazenica and Biontech proved more potent in studies. Maybe in the future we will find out. And yes, I look forward to the fall, too. It is my first time!

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  8. I feel your frustration with the inconsistency between countries regarding vaccines. I am fully vaccinated according to the Canadian government but, because I had a mixed dose regimen (AstraZeneca followed by Moderna), I am not considered fully vaccinated for travel purposes. And, another dose of Moderna isn’t available to me. So, now I wait and see.
    I was fine after my first dose, but had major chills and aches after my second. My husband was the opposite. It’s interesting how everyone reacts differently.

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      1. In Canada, the main reason for mixed doses was supply issues.
        For me, I had a dose of AstraZeneca before the safety concerns with it came to light. By the time my second dose came around, they were recommending Pfizer/Moderna for people like me who had a first dose of AstraZeneca. It’s frustrating because some studies have shown that people who AZ followed by Pfizer/Moderna had more antibodies than those who had two of the same vaccines. But, the WHO doesn’t agree.

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  9. It’s amazing how one manufacturer of the vaccine is so widely known and accepted in one part of the world and not recognized or accepted at all in other parts of the world. I’m super glad you are staying safe and able to get vaccinated wherever your travels take you! Hoping for the best outcome for you from all these extra jabs.

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    1. Thank you, Amy. In my country, I was able to get the vaccine because of my co-morbidity. People with underlying diseases were given the jab after the elderly. Here, nobody asked me if I had anything, just if I wanted to get vaccinated. Interesting, isn’t it?

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      1. Yes very interesting. Here in the USA the vaccine was initially offered in stages. First it was provided by appointment only to selected people (those with comorbidities and over age 75.) Then ages 65 and older. Now it’s available for everyone ages 12 and older, no appointment needed. There are even clinics going around offering the vaccine for free if people have transportation issues.

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          1. My allergist currently does not want me to get any vaccines because of my frequent history of anaphylaxis. She hasn’t allowed me to get any vaccines (not even the flu shot) for the last 2 years for this very reason. She said I am the only patient she advises against getting vaccinated. I’m a special person I suppose! But if my immune system becomes stronger then we can consider doing it in a hospital in case I have a reaction.

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  10. 1. What motivated you guys to Germany? 1b. Is it none of my business?
    2. More shots = better.
    3. I’ve heard that the China vaccine is not very effective. Though that could easily be politically motivated hype.
    4. I recall reading that having a reaction to a vaccine is a sign of it being effective + the person having a robust immune system. No reaction *could* mean low immune response, a prior asymptomatic exposure, or asymptomatic reaction to the vaccine… aka anything… lol.

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    1. We are here for several months. It is good to have a base both in Germany and The Ph. Life is normal here compared to The Ph, where it is a never ending lockdown. I wonder if I would be hyper protected from Covid now as in Superman levels? Haha.

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  11. It’s really hard to decide so many things–we just don’t know yet, do we? I probably would have made a similar decision that you have. I got a Moderna shot and had a reaction with chills/fever/fatigue that lasted maybe 12 hours. They say that a reaction like that means your immune system really was working. My husband, who got the same shot, had no reaction except a sore arm. So who knows?

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      1. Even here very few take J&J…it’s because it is bothers me to go to the doctor twice and I am too busy so I went for the isang shot na lang…tutal marami pa akong “shot shot” kasama ng mga Pilipino

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        1. Haha. Yes! In my country, some J&J is also available, but very limited. I was vaccinated reasonably early at home and the only available ones then were Astrazenica and Sinovac. Of course, I cannot choose which one to have and ended up getting Sinovac by chance.

          Liked by 1 person

      1. Micah, I saw a report on the news last night which said that Sinovac is only 50% effective at preventing severe infection from the Delta variant. They were interviewing a doctor in Indonesia who said, basically, that it isn’t the best vaccine but it’s better than nothing. So, it’s good that you got it but also good that you’re getting a course of BioNTech. I hope the second jab doesn’t make you feel bad!

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  12. Covid-19 has raised so many questions about every part of our lives, in every corner of the world! Who knows where the changes will lead us! Certainly, humanity is on a very different path! I hope and pray that you will soon bounce back from the latest vaccine injection. Did Marcus have any reactions? Here in northern latitudes, we are in autumn with the autumn equinox on 22nd September and from then on the daylight will reduce as we approach the winter. I wonder if you will be in Germany for Christmas? That would be very different for you! Regards to both you and Marcus, Ashley 💐🎋🙋‍♂️

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    1. Thank you, I am okay now. Markus had his jab earlier this year and was fine in general, if not for some fatigue. The leaves have been turning here, too! I have never experienced autumn so I am looking forward to it. I have always been mesmerized by it from photos online. Everything is dying but it is so pretty. I already noticed the sun setting earlier compared to my first month here!

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