The most difficult part of getting the COVID-19 vaccine is overcoming the fear of the needle.
This from a group of Trinidadian students studying medicine at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Cave Hill Campus in Barbados.
The students were among the first group on the island to be administered the AstraZeneca vaccine last Wednesday.
“My hardest part was actually deciding if this was the right choice, but I confirmed it after doing my own research and getting the stick,” according to Sherys Rodriguez.
The students recapped their experiences during an interview with Guardian Media.
Among some of the symptoms, they experienced after getting the vaccine were mild headaches and tenderness around the area that was injected.
Ravindra Ramchala said the discomfort lasted about two days.
“I had no major side effects. I just had the regular, common symptoms you get after a normal vaccine so I had a headache and some body pains, but it was all relieved when I took Panadol every six hours so after the first day I was back to normal,” Ramchala said.
Another student, Nicholas Liverpool, told us he experienced mild fever afterwards.
“Initially my arm, the area where I got the injection, was hurting a bit but as the night progressed the same night, I got the vaccination I started to feel a little warm because of fever and I had a headache and nausea” Liverpool stated. He noted that the side effects were not unusual for him and he felt better by the second day after taking Panadol.
Shawnessa Chaitan told us she too suffered similar symptoms.
“I got an immediate headache after getting the vaccine and that lasted about two hours and later on in the night, I had fever, chills and when I woke up the next morning I could not move,” according to Chaitan.
Ramchala believes the few hours of discomfort were worth it as opposed to 14 days of battling a virus that could possibly lead to death.
“One or two days of discomfort than two weeks of severe agonizing pain, being incubated or even death and it is not you alone. By decreasing the risk of transmission when you take the vaccine you protect your family also,” he said.
Liverpool further stated, “The reality is there is no going back to normal any time soon and if the vaccine can speed up the time we get back to some normalcy, socialise, Carnival just passed us, and you could see people missed it so if the vaccine is the way for us to have some sort of future in the way that it was then I would advise persons to take it”.
The group said their families in Trinidad have been very supportive of them getting vaccinated especially since the virus was very close to them recently after a fellow student contracted it.
The students said they are aware that there are anti-vaxxers among the Trinidad and Tobago population but encouraged persons to do their own research.