This episode is about the Covid vaccine and my experience with it. Along with what I have seen as far as studies of the vaccine during pregnancy.
This episode was inspired by
In this episode:
I share how I signed-up to get into the study
What my symptoms were like with the shot
How being in the Covid Vaccine Study Works
Producer: Drew Erickson
Check out all my podcasts:
00:00:00.120 – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys, welcome back to the Pulling Curls podcast, it’s a bonus episode! Today we’re talking about covid vaccine. We’re talking infertility, chips in arms, horrible side effects. How will we ever manage this? Let’s untangle it.
00:00:25.750 – Hilary Erickson
Welcome to the Pulling Curls podcast, I’m Hilary, your curly headed host on the podcast where we untangle everything from pregnancy, parenting and home routines. I want you to know that there are no right answers for every family. And I find that simplifying my priorities is almost always the answer. It’s tangled, just like my hair.
00:00:50.780 – Hilary Erickson
Hey, guys, I don’t know where you’re finding this episode from, but I would totally love it if you would subscribe to the Pulling Curls podcast out of your favorite podcast player. I’d love to give you each and every episode that I produce. OK, guys, the coronavirus is coming to an end, right? The vaccine has been approved. And I just finished up my second shot with the vaccine. So I wanted to give you my experience as a test case, as a guinea pig.
00:01:15.410 – Hilary Erickson
So everyone’s like, how did you find out about this? So I applied and maybe maybe I just saw somebody post it on their Instagram stories. And I was like, I want to give this a whirl. I was excited to probably get the vaccine first, but also, I felt like people need to sign up. People of all different shapes and sizes and colors and… Yeah, and then they didn’t call until maybe September. So I got accepted into the AstraZeneca vaccine.
00:01:40.400 – Hilary Erickson
I think I just applied in general. I don’t think I applied to one vaccine or the other, although I have to say I was kind of happy there was the AstraZeneca vaccine. I feel like it’s I thought at the time, see, this is going to tell you how dumb I am that it was a little bit more legit maybe than some of the others, although now in retrospect, the AstraZeneca vaccine doesn’t look like it’s quite as good as a Moderna.
00:02:01.490 – Hilary Erickson
But also it was a little scary to do the AstraZeneca vaccine, I have to say, because it is a little scary to have a full on new vaccine technology put in your muscle. So anyway, there you go. So in September, they said they were interested in me, but the vaccine was on hold. But they wanted to kind of like vet me out to see if I was a good fit. So at that point, I got about 20 minutes of questions just over the phone asking about weight, height, allergies, past medical history.
00:02:28.310 – Hilary Erickson
If I had something that was preventing me from getting pregnant, I do have an IUD in so that I think it was important to them. But at the end they said, it looks like you are a good candidate and we will be back in touch with you once the vaccine study restarts. So the AstraZeneca vaccine got shut down because there was a lot of Meilin issue myelitis. So the myelin is the sheath. It’s kind of like a covering of your spinal cord.
00:02:51.470 – Hilary Erickson
And that area had been kind of I wouldn’t want to say infected, but it had been bothered by something in a couple of volunteers. And so they stopped the study worldwide. This didn’t happen in the U.S., It happened in another country. But ultimately they decided that it wasn’t due to the vaccine because they only saw the two people that got it and you could just randomly get it also. So other countries restarted their vaccine study and then the US about a month after that, we started theirs.
00:03:14.990 – Hilary Erickson
I feel like the FDA is being very cautious on this. So you can take that as a good thing. But it is kind of slowing everything down. So they then again called me on Election Day, which I almost didn’t answer because I was pretty sure that it was probably just some Polster, which I wanted to ignore. But they said the study is back on and we would love to have you come get it. So on November 4th, I went in, they did again ask me all sorts of questions.
00:03:38.210 – Hilary Erickson
Oh, they also asked me what medication I’m on. They ask that every single week if the medications that I’m on have changed, I’m sure if you’re on an antibiotic or you change to a different type of medication that can have an effect on the vaccine. I only take really like a Zyrtec probably five days out of the week. And that’s pretty much the only medication I’m on. So I’m a good candidate. In that case, I did have a blood draw.
00:03:59.480 – Hilary Erickson
I had to pee in a cup so they can make sure that I wasn’t pregnant at the time. I had to have a physical with a doctor, which is pretty minimal. I know he didn’t do very much. They did two covid tests on me, one where it’s like a thinner swab that just goes up instead of in your nostril for a minute, which I don’t love either. But then they also did the brain tickle that goes all the way up, which honestly, both of them weren’t pretty fun, I was trying to decide if I didn’t like the blood draw or that a covered test worse.
00:04:23.660 – Hilary Erickson
That’s a hard choice for me. So. And then I go back every two weeks for I think almost three or four months, probably four months of going every two weeks where they again draw blood. So I had the first vaccine. I had a follow up two weeks later. And then two weeks after that, I went back for my second vaccine again. Same time, I had to have a blood draw. I had to do a pregnancy test.
00:04:43.760 – Hilary Erickson
They didn’t do a physical that time. After that, I just got the covid test where it just sits in your nostril. And I think I get that every single time. I asked them if they run that and they said they don’t unless I show up having symptoms later on, they’re very clear that if you have covid symptoms, you need to call them. I don’t know if they send you a kit or if you go back to that for the covid testing.
00:05:03.110 – Hilary Erickson
So I got my second shot on December 2nd. Just a side note, when you do these shots for a whole week after you have to do a daily e-diary where you take your temperature, you measure the redness around the vaccine area, and they ask you if you have soreness or tenderness, nausea, vomiting, headache, general malaise, muscle aches. So you go through all that. You do that every single day after the test. So for me, when they gave the shot, it stung a lot.
00:05:27.770 – Hilary Erickson
So I don’t know if that is the nurse or the shot ingredients, but it’s stung more than I’ve had on other vaccines. I’ve had a lot of shots at my time and I’ve also had a lot of practice shots on my arm. So there’s that. But then after that, it didn’t hurt at all. I woke up in the middle of the night and noticed that it was sore. So that was on the first one. I also had like a low grade fever, maybe that.
00:05:46.450 – Hilary Erickson
Night, and that was about it, maybe some muscle aches, but really not too much like on a pain scale or like how it inhibited, like activities of daily living, maybe a two. I mean, not much at all. On the second shot, it was even less, maybe a one on the pain scale. My arm was sore a little bit red. That’s it. I didn’t really notice a fever. I was kind of like ornery.
00:06:08.380 – Hilary Erickson
The next weekend, though, could have been four million things covid. But honestly, side effects very, very minimal. And they also said that for the AstraZeneca shot, they have found that the side effects on the second one are even less than on the first one. So did I get the shot? I don’t know. So in the AstraZeneca study, sixty six percent of the people get the shot and 33 percent don’t get the shot. So I 100 percent believe that I could have placebo’ed my body into thinking that I got the vaccine when I did it.
00:06:36.040 – Hilary Erickson
I didn’t have anything that was, like, so crazy that I couldn’t have, like, made that up in my body. And because my symptoms were even less the second time, I am a little bit concerned that I didn’t get it the first time. I was like, oh, I’m pretty sure I got it, especially with the redness and stuff like that. I don’t think you would get that with just a SAILIN shot because you either get the vaccine that AstraZeneca has created or you get just a shot of SAILIN, which, as far as I remember from nursing school, maybe my arm was a little sore in that area, but I don’t remember it being, like, sore to move my muscle.
00:07:04.120 – Hilary Erickson
So as far as payment, I do get paid one hundred dollars. Every time I go into the clinic, they follow me for two years. So I think for the first three months or so, it’s that every two weeks where they were just following up really frequently. I know that the FDA wants to have two months of data in order to be submitted to the FDA. They want two months of data on every person just to know kind of how it’s affecting you.
00:07:24.910 – Hilary Erickson
I have seen a lot of people saying online that the vaccine goes in, it triggers your immune system, and then it’s really out of your system fairly quickly. So I know a lot of people are like, oh, the long term side effects of a vaccine. And people are saying that that’s just not something that we’re going to see. So am I glad that I did it? I am. But today I took an antibody test and I was really hoping that it would show that I had antibodies and it was negative.
00:07:47.770 – Hilary Erickson
So I am 14 days from the last immunization today. So I kind of thought antibodies would show up. But even I asked the doctor, because every time you go in, you do have to counsel with a physician and they are an actual doctor, not just like a doctor of studying things, but they did say they weren’t sure that it would show antibodies even if I got the shot. And I’m not sure what that means. I’ve tried to google around as to what kind of antibodies you get when you get the shot.
00:08:13.210 – Hilary Erickson
So I don’t know, that apparently is top secret information. Also, the AstraZeneca study is showing that it is… The dosage that I got because I believe that I got the same dosage both times, it is not as effective or not nearly. It’s like 60 percent effective versus Moderna, which was like ninety five percent effective. So at this point, did the shot not work? Did I get the placebo or did the test not work or is it not testing for what the antibodies would be for the vaccine?
00:08:38.800 – Hilary Erickson
One last thing, of course, being a former labor and delivery nurse, I am wondering what what to recommend to pregnant women since I do a lot of pregnant women stuff on the Internet. Man, that is a hard choice. All of the professional organizations have come out saying that they do not believe that it should be withheld from pregnant women, which I agree. I think people should be able to make their own choice. They’re upset that pregnant women were not included in the study.
00:09:01.510 – Hilary Erickson
But I have to say that that would be a tough one for them to really put in the study. I think I don’t know. People are so sue-happy for anything about pregnancy that… I think lawyers have created that problem on their own. I don’t know how we fix it, but if I was pregnant, I probably wouldn’t be in the first round to get it. I’d probably let everyone else to the hospital get it first and then just kind of see how I’m doing, especially if I was early in pregnancy.
00:09:23.620 – Hilary Erickson
Now, for later in pregnancy, things are less likely to affect the baby. Most important stuff has been formed, so it’s just hard to make the choice. I would definitely talk with my provider about it and I just watch kind of the data and stuff. The reality is that most people are going to be offered this vaccine for a few months and there are going to be pregnant ICU nurses that make the choice that they’re going to get. And I think one of the things that I was really happy to see come out, a call came out and said, we really need to support whatever the pregnant woman wants to do.
00:09:50.710 – Hilary Erickson
If she wants to get the vaccine, let’s give it to her. If she doesn’t want to get the vaccine, that means that we really need to continue to wear a mask around those women to perform proper hand hygiene so that those women who are at a higher risk of complications due to covid can still be safe. So I think that is the most important thing that comes out of all of these studies. Let’s support pregnant women, the choice that they make and let’s not crap on people for the choice that they’re making, because I did a series on Tik Tok.
00:10:15.790 – Hilary Erickson
I can’t tell you how many people came on and told me what a horrible idea was to even consider getting a covid vaccine. And I just don’t agree. everybody’s different. We’re all going to have to make our own moves. You have… If you don’t work at the hospital, you don’t understand how stressful it is to be in the hospital with this possibly lethal thing. And you’re in a high risk category and you’re with it all the time. So, let’s just support each other.
00:10:37.510 – Hilary Erickson
Why did I do this episode? I think the vaccine is really important and I just want to get the information out there that the the side effects for me, which I didn’t get the ones that are approved right now, but the side effects were very, very minimal. I have a 16 year old who keeps telling me that the side effects from the shot are going to be worse than the actual covid. And I’m like, Spencer, you saw me get the shot.
00:10:59.370 – Hilary Erickson
Was it that bad? And he’s like, well, no. But because he’s reading this crap online, he’s like, not he’s not engaging with the first hand information that he had in that. No, it wasn’t that bad. And and people should get it. So that’s really why I’m doing this podcast. If you have any questions, I would just encourage you to talk with your provider. You can always ask them in the show notes. This is like our third bonus episode at Pullingcurls.com, and I’d be happy to answer whatever I can on my end.
00:11:24.930 – Hilary Erickson
I’m not like an expert on vaccines, although I have probably given a thousand, I don’t know, tens of thousands of vaccines at this point. So I am a believer in vaccines and I do believe that they are the thing that’s probably going to send us back to normal, although proper testing and drugs can help along the way as well, because I don’t think we’re going to eradicate this just with vaccines. It’s still going to be out there. But that’s my experience with the covid vaccine.
00:11:47.430 – Hilary Erickson
I just wanted to let you guys know and let you guys know that I’m a strong supporter of it. And I don’t want your anti vax stuff over on my blog because I’ll just delete it. I have all the powers over Pulling Curls. Wish I had so much powers over covid.
00:11:59.520 – Hilary Erickson
Thanks so much for joining us today. I hope we help smooth out a few of the snarls in your life. We drop an episode every Monday and we always appreciate it when you guys share and review. Until next time, we hope you have a tangle free day.