Vaccine booster report!

Let’s talk vaccines. Specifically, mine. I was Team Pfizer for my main series, but the second shot side effects were horrifically unpleasant. So I asked to go with Moderna for the booster. And I got it last weekend so I would have time before the holiday to recover if there was a dramatic recurrence of the “flattened for 36 hours, wobbly for 72 hours more” 2nd shot reaction.

Before I get to those result, Imma hare off on some distracting side quests so you know this is really me writing this and not a pod-alien substitute.

First, I have a knee-jerk need to say that I know it’s unfair that I’ve gotten my third shot of a life-saving vaccine while millions of people are still unable to get even the first shot. It’s horrifically unfair, and it reeks of multiple systemic failures on a global scale.

But none of those problems will be solved by me refusing my own shot, so I refuse to feel guilty about being safer. My senators & representatives know my opinions on this, I vote for progressives who want to put our national money where we say our principles are, and I put my money where my principles are. It’s an unjust world. All we can do is what we can do.

Second, I will not be arguing the pros & cons of vaccination, whether for specific protection against SARS CoV-2 or in general. This was my third vaccination in 7 weeks (flu early October, & shingles mid October, then this) so my position is pretty clear.

But I gotta say the phrase “pro-vaccine” is an absurdity. So is the phrase “anti-vaccine,” for that matter. Vaccination isn’t a sports team or a candy flavor. Being in favor of it or rooting for its defeat won’t inspire it to victory or help it win an election. It’s a medical procedure. You get it or you don’t. It’s a choice. You’re always pro-your-own choice, right?

Choice doesn’t only mean personal choice, though.

Personal choices are private choices—where private means things that affect only you. Public choices are about things you do that affect others outside your control.

Private choices are (should be) nobody’s business but your own. Public choices have public consequences. They have to have consequences. (This isn’t an opinion, it’s just how interaction works. When you affect other people, they get to affect you right back. That’s how we get civilization!)

Vaccination is both! It’s a private medical choice about what goes into your body AND it’s an epic level life & death public choice for whole families and all the many communities of people who can’t avoid sharing physical space with you.

So I think anyone who doesn’t want to get vaccinated should be allowed to refuse it. Absolutely. Medical choice is private. But the reality that it’s also a MASSIVE public choice cannot be ignored. Don’t want to get vaccinated? AWESOME. Don’t.


Your choice threatens others with death & disability, and public threats do not get to wander around freely endangering whoever they like. They don’t. Not in civilized societies. You ARE civilized, aren’t you, my imaginary internet strawman? You are. Oh, good.

The way civilized cultures deal with threats it to limit their mobility & access to those they might harm.

Your freedom to bodily integrity does NOT include the right to threaten innocent strangers with your unvaccinated self. Nope. Not even close. If you choose to be a threat to society, tyou don’t get to play on the public commons. Please avail yourself of the many excellent services that exist for meeting your personal needs with zero public contact. Delivery. Drive-up. Call-ahead. All that stuff.

Oh, and masking? Yeah. If you gotta go where there are other folks, mask that dangerous face right up or GTFO.

Whoops, I said I wasn’t going to argue, didn’t I? I’m guess I’m not, really. This is my space, these are my opinions, and that’s that.


Moderna didn’t hit me like a truck. I spiked a fever within a few hours, and my lymph nodes got big and achy, but I took my ibuprofen, and both the fever & fatigue stayed at manageable levels. So blah, but not UGH. Big improvement. I mean, the joint pain was worse, but I get joint pain from all kinds of reasons, so…whatever?

The frist day, I felt like I was moving through deep water & took a couple of naps — but I also got bulbs planted and took walks and was able to get stuff done around the house. By the next day, I couldn’t tell if I was tired & sore from doing yard work or the booster.

Biggest effects were weird fever dreams, and not wanting to eat anything more interesting than potatoes for two days (Typical of my digestion when I have a fever.) Much better than a day of feeling so awful I couldn’t get out of bed to get dressed.

And now I’m all boosted. Which is not the same as invulnerable, I know, but I’ll take every bit of immune help I can get.

2 responses to “Vaccine booster report!”

  1. Lynn Avatar

    Very well said, Karen.

    1. K. M. Herkes Avatar

      Thank you. I didn’t plan on that middle part when I sat down to write the post, but it clearly wanted out of my brain.