Covid Vaccine Booster Oops

I mentioned, briefly, that I had a reaction to the Covid Booster, and I guess I should elaborate on that.

TL;DR: Get the MATCHING booster for the shots you already had!

My first two vaccines for Covid were Pfizer. The first, almost nothing but a sore arm, and the second I had a day of body aches and general misery.

I qualified for the booster several weeks ago, but I wanted to wait and let the most at risk folks get it first. I mean, I KNOW I’m high risk too, but I have a job that lets me stay home most of the time and a limited pool of people I see. So I’d rather someone in, say, a nursing home get it sooner because they’re getting much higher amounts of possible exposure.

I finally called and went in, explaining my doctor’s office was sending nastygrams reminding me to go – by which I mean amusingly polite but firm messages. (My family calls stuff like that nastygrams including mean letters and stuff… it’s a running joke.)

When I got there they wanted to give me the Moderna Booster. I had got Pfizer before and was puzzled but not hugely concerned.

Friends will tell you that my chill-o-meter is misaligned. They may be correct because I went ‘meh’ and got it.

That night my arm flared red and started hurting immediately, but it’s a booster, right? A vaccine. They do that.

Starting shortly after midnight, the body aches began.

I spiked a fever


My brain was foggy.

This went on for three days of acute misery before I looked at the huge welt on my arm, the hives that were starting to form, and how long I’d been sick and became concerned.

For background, I had an injection site abscess in… 2005? 2006? that nearly killed me. By which I mean a week-long hospitalization with sepsis and emergency surgery to drain it out of the side of my neck.

On top of this, my best friend actually had an allergic reaction to her Moderna vaccine – swollen mouth, tongue, airway problems. Which I wasn’t having, but I was being wary.

With how this site was acting, I was worried it had gotten infected. I called my doctor’s office, they took several hours to call back. By this point, they were closing, and it was Friday.

I talked to the nurse and explained what I was concerned about, and she sent me to urgent care, calling me in first.

I arrived.

They were ready.

Whole story again. During my explanation of the previous incident of nearly dying, the doctor outright laughed and repeated somewhat sarcastically, “‘But I didn’t have to pay for it, so whatever.’ You almost died and it’ s whatever?”

Like I said. My chill-o-meter needs some callibration.

She checked me over. Traced the welt (about 2 inches in diameter). In the end she decided that it was a combination of a reaction to the booster (hence hives, fever, chills beyond a reasonable time frame…especially the hives) and the fact that I got THE WRONG BOOSTER.


Calibration. I’m saying.

She gave me a long description of What Thou Shalt Return To Urgent Care For as signs of injection or a worse reaction.

Then I got sent home with prednisone. Let me remind those who have never taken it, this medication makes you A. FULL OF ENERGY, B. JITTERY, C. RETAIN WATER WEIGHT, and D. SO HUNGRY SO SO SO HUNGRY.

I got the first two this time, but the med change I’m doing? That actually had the side effect of reducing my appetite so the rest balanced out and eating has been meh.

Two days later… and the welt is starting to fade finally. It spread a little beyond the purple circle, but not much, and it wasn’t as dark red, so I wasn’t concerned.

I have written ALL THE WORDS this weekend.

I’m feeling better, and my head is clear.

So the moral of this story?

Get the CORRECT booster for your Covid shot!