Received: 2nd COVID-19 vaccine shot

… and I feel fine

It has been more than a week since my wife and I received our 2nd vaccination shots against COVID-19, and we are both in good health and feel well (I am 41-years-old, and she is 36-years-old). After both our 1st and 2nd vaccination shots, our arms were sore at the injection sites, but otherwise we experienced no noticeable side effects.

A younger cousin of mine (~38-years-old) who works in the entertainment industry here in Israel finally got vaccinated (even though she did not want to) because of the pressure put on her by her employer (and general society). To be honest, I didn’t have much sympathy for her vaccination skepticism, as I’ve written before. Simply put, these vaccines are the single best hope that our global society has for defeating COVID-19 and shifting back in the direction of normalcy.

For those who harbor concerns over the potential ill effects of receiving these vaccines, I recommend watching the following video, which is neither too long, nor too complicated to understand:

As of today, the State of Israel has now vaccinated more than 4.4 million people (48% of its population). Of the overall figure, more than 3 million people (33% of the population) have received the 2nd dose of the vaccine.

For those who are wondering how Israel was able to jump the cue when so many other countries are now struggling to get vaccines, the answer is pretty straightforward: some chutzpah… and a small population (1/33rd the size of the US). Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s embattled Prime Minister, has basically staked his career on the vaccine rollout, and he convinced Pfizer to supply Israel with enough vaccines (around 10 million) to cover the whole population, in exchange for sharing data in a kind of real-world vaccine trial…

Jamie Magrill, Times of Israel, Feb. 22, 2021

Putting aside whether or not I am comfortable with our Prime Minister sharing the Israeli public’s health data without its consent, which I am not, the fact remains that the State’s deal with Pfizer is now a fait accompli. Either way, the vaccine was made readily available to me and my family, and I did not hesitate in the slightest to take advantage of that privilege.

I’m aware of that privilege every day now: as I walk through the rainy, wintery Jerusalem streets, my body is working for me, building up immunity to COVID-19 and significantly lowering the chance of me becoming a super-spreader at work or in public.

-ibid.

Given that all human beings are in this boat together, as I see it, the major challenge now facing humanity is: how do we get the COVID-19 vaccine into the bodies of every human on the planet?

Especially in those countries lacking reliable and effective health infrastructures?


Introducing… ‘Green passports’!

The State is finally easing out of its 3rd lockdown (our daughter returned to preschool on Tuesday of last week, thank goodness), but now there’s a caveat: for full access to all of Israel’s recreational facilities, one must hold a ‘green passport’. These ‘passports’ are chief among the reasons that many Israelis are getting the shot (including my cousin, mentioned above).

The Israeli government has been campaigning hard, for its part, on all the benefits that vaccinated citizens will enjoy. These include access to leisure and cultural facilities (including gyms, sporting events, hotels, and swimming pools); and -in the future- mass events and travel. All Israelis who have been fully vaccinated or who have recovered from the disease are eligible for a ‘green passport’.

The government, you see, cannot force its citizens to get vaccinated, but it can make life very inconvenient for those that do not. Some may consider this draconian, but I am fully supportive of this initiative. Simply put, vaccination against COVID-19 is humankind’s greatest hope for defeating this global pandemic. It was certainly my privilege to get vaccinated early (compared to the rest of the world) because I live in Israel; but – I also consider it to have been my responsibility.

60 thoughts on “Received: 2nd COVID-19 vaccine shot”

    1. Thanks, Ashley. It really does seem just that straightforward to me, and I’m not one who tends to view issues in black-and-white.

      Sincerely,
      David

  1. I agree. It seems to me that elective anti-vaxxers are exploiting their position as a privileged minority. Assuming the majority do not share their opinions they are effectively piggy-backing on the herd immunity which the majority provides. In particular they endanger those who for reasons of allergies etc cannot have a particular vaccine even though they would have chosen to have it if they could.

  2. It really depends on the type of data being shared. I have no problem with the high level data (at the time I last looked at Israel, 46% uptake (at least one shot) with a 95.8% efficacy of those who had taken both shots), but if somebody wished to place your medical records in the public domain, then of course there is a problem.

    It does go to show that data has huge value. To me, that’s already obvious but I think there are an awful lot of people who don’t realize that.

    Funnily enough I posted on this exact subject just the other day.

    1. yes, that’s true… I suppose if it’s just a matter of statistics being shared without any of my personal medical data, that wouldn’t bother me.

      good call, Pete.

      -David

      1. can you do me a favour and correct my typo please? Normally it doesn’t matter, but as it was a number… it could give a very different impression!

  3. David, I love the idea of a green passport. Going out in public and exposing yourself to others should have consequences. The few that cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons have a right to be as safe as possible. When the vaccines first came out, I wanted more info before jumping on board. When I knew more, there was no question as to whether or not i would get the shots. Having had both, I felt I did what was right for me, my family, and society.

    1. I think there will be people who are deemed too risky to vaccinate. Not anti-vaxxers, but just people who cannot be vaccinated for some perfectly-valid reason. Before we go gung-ho for a green passport, we need to decide what happens to them.
      And I think it would have a limited shelf-life. A COVID passport is no different to a measles passport or a mumps passport – there’s a reason we don’t have them and hopefully, in a short time, a COVID passport too will become unnecessary.

      1. I completely agree on both accounts. These passports are currently only good for 6 months; and then I think the gov’t needs to reevaluate.

        1. Hopefully then we’ll be able to say that the numbers are so small, our health services can cope.

          The biggest win of the vaccines, for me, is that if somebody *does* get COVID they tend to milden the case.

      2. It does occur to me, though, that if one is too risky to vaccinate for health reasons, one may think twice before going to the mall for one’s own sake.

        -David

  4. Great news! It sounds like the Israeli gov’t is doing a good job. Here in America where I live, the vaccine rollout has been pretty confusing. My girlfriend was able to get her first shot and will get the second one soon. But many people I talk to here are awfully confused about the whole process.

    I’m happy for you and I agree the vaccine is our best hope!

    1. How about you, Nick? Have you been able to get vaccinated? Neither my Mom nor my brother in the USA have been vaccinated yet.

      Sincerely,
      David

      1. I haven’t yet. In the US, there seems to be an order to who gets vaccinated, with essential workers, chronically ill, older people, etc, going first. I’m young (34) and relatively healthy, so I may have to wait a bit. I’m fine with that, though. I agree that the limited number of vaccines we now have should go first to those who need it most.

  5. I’m glad that you and your wife received the two vaccination shots. And that you didn’t experience harsh side effects. A few friends have told me that they had flu symptoms for a couple days after the second shot. Thankfully, they felt better after that.

    1. Dave,

      According to the video I embedded in this blog post, those symptoms are actually a good sign! What country are your friends in?

      Yours,
      David

      1. I’ll have to check out the video — thanks for mentioning that. My friends are in the U.S.

  6. I agree. I got my second dose of vaccination today☺️☺️. Little steps towards a better world… They do matter. ❤️❤️🌷

      1. I live in the UAE, David. We have had almost 6 million doses of vaccination already given. The Vaccine is actually quite readily available and is free, of course.

        1. Yes… They are quite advanced in that way. So glad to live here.
          But here’s a little shocker for you:
          My family came down in January from India, and unfortunately , were tested positive in the beginning of Feb. My brother, who has Down’s Syndrome was worst affected. He was hospitalised for 9 days, and was isolated. We did not see him till the 9th day. It was a very tough time for us all especially my mother. My hubby and son were fine. I was asymptomatic. I guess what had to happen, will happen. We are all fine now, by grace of God. My brother was discharged last week. My only solace has been spending time with God and writing.
          This is life, is it not🌷

        2. Oy vey 😦

          I’m so sorry your brother had to go through that, DIana. Theoretically, none of them need the vaccine now, right?

        3. Well yes, you are right. Probably after a few months once they are back in India. ❤️

  7. Just got word this morning that my age group is being scheduled. Called and now I have an appointment on Thursday morning! Yipee!

  8. Getting 48% of the population vaccinated is a huge feat compared to many of the other countries where vaccination is still proceeding at a slower rate. Glad none of you experienced any side effects!

  9. Glad to know that you are now safe. Green passport is a good initiative. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Glad to hear you and your wife did not have any bad reactions to the shot. I’m a bit too young right now, only over 65 are eligible, so they don’t want to see my face at the vaccination facility. My husband got the first shot, and next week he gets the second. Hoping he doesn’t have any reactions.
    You wrote regarding the green passport: ‘These include access to leisure and cultural facilities (including gyms, sporting events, hotels, and swimming pools); and -in the future- mass events and travel. All Israelis who have been fully vaccinated or who have recovered from the disease are eligible for a ‘green passport’.
    I don’t think that policy would go so well here in the States. Much, if not most, of our public facilities are funded by our tax dollars. I don’t think it’s fair to say, ‘You have to give us your money in taxes to pay for these facilities, but you can’t use them.’
    Yes, I do think everyone should be vaccinated. I just don’t think it can, or should, be forced on people.

    1. Rhonda,

      The government’s primary responsibility is to protect its citizens, even from a libertarian perspective.

      Whether or not something would “go over well” is a legitimate political question, but I personally don’t consider the policy of “green passports” to be the same as “forcing” vaccination on people. They are still free to not get vaccinated – but please stay away from crowded public indoor areas where you could get others sick. It seems totally reasonable to me.

      -David

  11. I also had no side affects from my two covid shots. Thank you for defending the responsibility we all have to get vaccinated for the common good. I hope that those living in the territories there are given the same degree of opportunity because, as you say, we humans are all in this together.

  12. The process is total chaos here in NYC, but it seems to be improving a bit. You still have to be lucky to be on the right site at the right time to get an appointment, but there seem to be more vaccines available, so more appointment slots. My daughter trolled one site for days and finally got me an appointment for the first shot last Friday. I probably spent 30 hours on the computer with no luck myself. It should not be like winning a lottery–they had plenty of time to come up with some organized method of distribution. (K)

  13. This is so good to here. I know here in he U.S. we should all have the opportunity soon. Essential workers and elderly are first and everyone next! HOORAY!

  14. Thank you, David:
    “now facing humanity is: how do we get the COVID-19 vaccine into the bodies of every human on the planet?”
    Yes:
    This is the essential question.
    Thank you for posing it.
    Stay safe,
    Enjoy Purim (I’m back to looking for my earplugs!)
    -Shira

  15. Glad that you and your wife we were able to be vaccinated. Im in the US and dont qualify yet. My father is on his way now to get his 2nd shot. Hopefully he wont have any side effects. My mom will be next. Hopefully I wont be too far behind. I have been with them since the lockdown (almost a year). I am ready to go back to my solitary lifestyle.

    1. Simona,

      My mother is in NJ, and my brother is in PA, and neither of them have been vaccinated yet… hopefully my mother, at least, will receive her vaccination soon.

      I hope you (and all of us, really) can go back to our “normals”, or, at least, turn in that direction… It’s been hard for everyone 😦

      Yours,
      David

  16. Congratulations! Both my daughter and I have health conditions and I really hope that both of my kids and I can get our vaccinations soon, but the rollout in my country has been a bit…wonky. I’m not expecting to be able to have access to a vax until the fall. My partner works in health care and just received his first dose today – a big relief!

      1. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry – I keep seeing your comments so long after you post them! I’ll try to keep a better eye out for your replies! 🙂 We are in Canada, and the vaccine rollout here has been choppy, but in the grand scheme of things, not too bad.

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