Vaccination insights from our second dose recipients

As our COVID-19 vaccination program expands to all Monash Health employees, there’s likely to be an increased number of you curious as to what to expect. So, we returned to recipients vaccinated on the first day and asked them to share their insights and impressions after receiving the second and final dose of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine last week. Reassuringly, the range of experiences is in keeping with what has been noted across the country and internationally from millions of doses administered so far. You could have no symptoms or have a short-lived fever, body aches, shivers or headache; all signs your body is working to make antibodies.

The Oxford AstraZeneca vaccination commenced last week at Monash Health too, and we have been busy chatting to recipients soon after their vaccination. Once we collect their valuable insights about Oxford AstraZeneca, we will pass these on, so stay tuned.

Rachel Hogben, Nurse Manager ICU, Dandenong

“I didn’t experience any symptoms with the first dose. After the second, I experienced a mild headache for about two days afterwards. There was some lethargy, but now I’m feeling really good.

My team were very eager to hear how I was feeling, they’re due to start their second doses soon, and we’ve laughed because I’ve found it difficult to know what’s a vaccine symptom and what’s life or work ‘busyness’!”

Guylene Faustin, Patient Services Assistant JMPH

“Like the first dose, my body responded very well to the second dose too, and I’m happy to report no symptoms.”

Dr Sumitha Bhaskaran, Director General Medicine, Clayton

“I’m doing well post my second dose, and it’s great knowing that there is this extra protection now when I come to work on top of all our usual physical distancing and PPE practices. I had some fever symptoms, muscle aches and a sore left arm throughout the night after my vaccination and most of the following day. Remarkably, at approximately the 36 hours mark from when I received my vaccination, it was like a switch went off, and most of my symptoms resolved, and I felt absolutely fine again.”

Dr Rachel Rosler, Director Emergency Medicine, Clayton

“I was a bit hesitant going into my second vaccination as I had heard that side effects could be worse with the second dose, but I have been completely fine. My arm actually hurt less this time than the first dose, and I haven’t experienced any other effects.”

Dr Brendan Murfin, Specialist ICU, Clayton

“There was soreness a few hours after the second dose. On the first and second day afterwards, I had a few headaches, my arm was swollen a bit around the injection site and warm to the touch. I had muscle aches and pains defined throughout the period and took Panadol and Nurofen during that time and they worked really well to abate the symptoms.”

Thank you to our wonderful colleagues for keeping us informed and highlighting that the range of vaccination effects will vary and that this is normal; the key is to get vaccinated.

Don’t forget vaccination is now open to all Monash Health employees. You can find out how to book here.


Approved by Professor Rhonda Stuart, Director, Infection Prevention & Epidemiology

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