A Quick jab and a glimpse of light

In Denmark some younger people with OI were prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Read about the experiences from Jacob below. 

Text written by Jacob Ø. Wittorff, member of DFOI

All it took was a quick jab, and then it was over. I got my COVID-19 vaccine on a cold but sunnyJacob showing his vaccinated arm afternoon in January. It felt like the usual jab, but this time the jab also came with a glimpse of light and a promise of a future with more freedom. Today I share that hope with more than 200 million people worldwide and among them a rising number of people with OI. I’m careful not to get overly optimistic. But after a year with a lot of our plans and dreams put on standby, I’m hopeful that the vaccine can help us all, to once again expand our horizons and resume the life we knew before the pandemic.

As I’m writing this, I’m aware that a lot of people with OI around Europe still haven’t gotten the vaccine yet, but I’m hoping that this has changed when you all read this. In Denmark some younger people from risk groups have been prioritized among the first people and luckily, I was one of them and so was a lot of other Danish people with OI.

Joy and relief

On the morning January 12th I got a notification on my smartphone. The notification told me, that I had just received an electronic letter from the public health authorities, and the subject line of the letter was “Offer to get vaccinated against COVID-19.” Rarely has a letter from a public authority caused so much joy and relief. I found an available timeslot the next day. I booked my appointment from my phone even before I got out of bed, and 24 hours later I was vaccinated.

A lot of people have been asking about the side effects, and they are different from person to person, but you have to remember that usually the thing we call side effect is just our immune systems reacting to the vaccine. I got the Pfizer-Biontech-vaccine, and I hardly felt anything besides some soreness in my arm. After the first shot I might have felt a little bit more fatigued the following day, but it was very mild. And after all it was January, and I think we all feel a bit more tired than normal at this time of the year. So, it might just have been a coincidence.

I got the second shot three weeks later, and this time I definitely felt some fatigue. It kicked in about 12 hours after the shot and lasted for about a day. But again, it was still very mild. Like if I had been out for a fun night and got to bed a bit too late. Even if you get more severe side effects it is typically just a day of feeling feverish, having headaches or chills. For some people it can be pretty unpleasant, but it is definitely better than getting covid.

A year with new opportunities

Right now, we are under lockdown in Denmark. Restaurants, bars and museums are still closed, and travel is still restricted. So, the vaccines haven’t yet given me the opportunity to do a lot of new stuff. But after a year, where I have been mostly working from home, I am now able to drop by work again, and I have started to see my friends in indoor settings. Hopefully it will also be possible to see friends abroad soon, and I’m also planning to spend the summer in the sunny hills of Tuscany. Nothing is guaranteed in the middle of a pandemic, but with the vaccine I really feel a lot more confident that all of these things will be possible. The pandemic is not over yet, but for me the first shot of the vaccine definitely felt like the beginning of the end. And if somebody ask me if they should get the vaccine? My answer would be, that it is of course your decision, but you should know that the vaccine have been proven to be safe and extremely effective

I see it as nothing short of a scientific miracle, and therefore and therefore I’m happy that I got mine, and I hope more people with OI around the world will soon get their shot too.

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