It was pomp and ceremony on Friday, March 12, 2021 when the Lagos State Government officially rolled out the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, first for the frontline health workers and others in the frontline of the battle against the dreaded Coronavirus.
The venue was the Infectious Disease Hospital, IDH, Yaba where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was to take the Astrazeneca vaccine publicly to re-assure Lagosians that the vaccine is safe.
As I got to the venue early before the governor’s arrival, I made an effort to register to take the Astrazeneca vaccine as a journalist. I consulted with some pressmen at the venue. Many didn’t want to take the vaccine. The fear was boldly written on many faces.
I called my wife to inform her of my decision to take the Astrazeneca vaccine and right on the phone, she screamed “Don’t take it, don’t take it.” I laughed.
At exactly 3.00pm, Sanwo-Olu took the vaccine and his deputy, Dr. Kadri Hamzat also took it. Before the governor’s arrival, Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi had taken the vaccine first. With the governor taking a jab, the fear of some was gone.
Along with a couple of journalists, I took the first jab of the Astrazeneca vaccine. It was not painful, there was no reaction, I was joyous that I was among the first 100 people to take the vaccine in Lagos. I worked late on Friday night and decided to go to bed around past 1.00am. I was already feeling pains that I had not felt before.
Soon after I hit the bed, sleep vanished. I prayed: “Lord, give me sleep.”
My prayer was answered and I slept. I was rudely jolted out of sleep few minutes later with serious shivering I never felt before. I took the bedsheet and wrapped myself in, but I shook like a leaf. Aside the shivering, internal high temperature set in. My whole system was aflame. I woke up my wife and said: “dear, touch my body, is it hot?” She said “no.”
But I could feel a hell of fire within me. The temperature was accompanied with sharp body pains. I could not sleep, pains, high temperature, headache and chill set in. Later in the night, the internal temperature found its way out. Now my body was hot outside.
I held my wife and she screamed because of how hot my body was.
I had a hellish night.
Sleep later came early in the morning. I slept till past 1.00pm on Saturday. Though the headache and pains didn’t disappear, my body temperature normalised.
I called my other colleagues who took the vaccines to inquire if they felt the same way I felt last night. The story was the same with slight variation. We all experienced the side effect of AstraZeneca vaccine which we were not told.
Later, I got to know that the side effects of AstraZeneca vaccine are: pain or tenderness at the injection site, headache, tiredness, muscle or joint aches, fever, chills and nausea.
I wrote this article, still with the body pains, tiredness and headache yet to disappear. So if you want to take AstraZeneca vaccine, take note of the side effects, which I learnt will disappear in few days time.
Kazeem Ugbodaga writes from Lagos. He is the editor of PM News