The New Bivalent COVID Shot

I just realized the new shot was available in my area, and lo and behold, my grocery store’s pharmacy had it in stock – so I signed up and waddled over.

The pharmacist, a young woman, was very nice as I asked for a flu shot along with my fifth COVID injection. She came in with both syringes, smiled and said, “The COVID one hurts worse, so which arm do you want that in?”

Not a promising start.

Me: Well, I’m right-hand-dominant, so I guess my left, please.

Her: Okay! — and smiling brightly, she shot me full of inactive nasties.

Me: Well, heck, that wasn’t so bad.

Her, continuing to beam: Oh, I didn’t mean NOW. It’s gonna hurt LATER.

Oh. Crap.

Me: Okay. Well, I’d planned on taking it easy tomorrow so a sore arm shouldn’t be so bad.

Her, still flashing pearly whites: Oh… yeah… not just a sore arm. You’re not gonna feel good tomorrow. This stuff creeps up on you.

Man, lady, you are NOT doing a good job selling your wares, lemme tell you. How about extolling the virtues of this new improved… OW!!

Blam, she hit me with the flu shot. Awkwardly. “Oopsie! I’ll just get a cotton ball…”

Have you ever tried to clean up blood with a cotton ball? Boy, that is NOT the most effective medium for soaking up gore. Cotton balls are hairy and not terribly absorbent. She tried to scrub off the teaspoon or so running down my arm with very little effect, and the bandage was soaked through.

“There we go!” She grinned, as my arm was still looking like killer rabbit had gnawed on it. The squishy band-aid still attached to my arm didn’t help, either, as it continued to drool. “Now, don’t forget, it helps if you massage shots as it helps dull the pain, so rub it every so often.”

Um… not until I get home and get a fresh bandaid on there. If I smush that around, I’ll wring another half pint out onto my sleeve.

So, for giggles, I looked up this new vaccine on the CDC’s site. It’s still got “reactogenicity” (how you react to it) but it’s a bit less than the other doses. And the protection it offers is much higher.

I don’t pretend to understand all that, but I do get the most important bit: get the shot if you possibly can. And what the heck, get the flu shot while you’re at it. Maybe plan for the next day as a rest day, but just do it.

UPDATE: following day… I’m a little tired, but nothing spectacular. Arm’s a little sore, but lemme tell you, tetanus is waaaaaay more painful.


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