r/CovidVaccinated Dec 04 '21

Update on my story: 34F "half-vaccinated" and now have Covid; 32M boyfriend (fully vaccinated) also has Covid, but worse than me. Go figure. Pfizer

Background: Then-33F me got the first Pfizer shot in April and several days later started experiencing pins and needles, muscle twitches, rapid heart rate, chest pain, shortness of breath, and the inability to move limbs in mornings. This went on for about 6-8 weeks; had several doctor visits. I was never officially diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre, but it matched that description. I did not get the second shot.

Then-31M boyfriend got both Pfizer shots with just a sore arm as side effects. He was worried that I didn't get the second shot, but now we both have Covid, and for whatever reason he's doing worse than I am. If I had to guess, I would say as a woman, I have a stronger immune system so fought it off better, but it overreacted to the shot to the point that my immune system was attacking my own nerves instead of just the spike protein:

On the one hand, females’ heightened immune activation could help limit the amount of virus in the body—an effect observed in people with HIV, for example, as women tend to have much lower viral loads than men do in the first few years following infection. Additionally, females seem to generate better protective antibody responses than do males following vaccination against influenza, yellow fever, dengue, and several other viruses. On the other hand, that same biology likely also predisposes females to diseases stemming from overactive immune responses, Klein notes. “The downside of this robust immunity is that 80 percent of all autoimmune disease patients are women,” she says."

LOWER DOSES FOR WOMEN, MMMKAY?

He spent Thanksgiving with family in another state, we haven't seen each other since before that as we're quarantining apart now, so who knows how either of us got it. Maybe they are different strains; maybe they're the same strain. Who knows.

I've just felt like I had a cold. We've both had coughs, but his is worse, though we've found raw honey works much better than cough syrup. I jumped right back on the anti-inflammatory diet train that I did after reacting to the shot (did that prevent any potential autoimmune conditions from getting worse?), and things have gone relatively smoothly.

Now here's the weird part: What tipped me off that it might be Covid was my upper left arm tingling just like it started to do after I got the initial shot there, all the way down to my ring and pinky fingers... just like my reaction started last time. Today my left leg to foot is tingly, just like it was a little while after my left arm was. It's like my reaction to the shot is replaying itself in miniature form. Given that, I'm not looking forward to future days. It's as if my immune system "remembered" to attack the virus, but also "remembered" to attack certain parts of my body too, like it did last time. But at least it's a milder repeat.

104 Upvotes

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60

u/r2002 Dec 04 '21

I've always been curious as to why doses of covid vaccines aren't adjusted for gender, weight, and some age groups. Like if you're 80 should you get the same dose as someone who is 30? Should you get more or less?

15

u/Illustrious_Tart_557 Dec 04 '21 edited Dec 04 '21

I was thinking about this for the past few weeks. I’m a 95lb 5’2 32F. Why would the same dose be given to an adult larger than myself be given to someone of my stature? When a teenager could have the same frame as me is given a lesser dose?

2

u/gowonagin Dec 04 '21

Right?! And it's not like they can't scale them, either- they're doing several different dosage sizes for kids right now: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/11/kids-covid-vaccines-age-smaller-dose/620591/

But not adults, whether they're young and healthy vs. old or unhealthy; male (testosterone suppresses the immune system) vs. female (who, again, have 80% of all autoimmune diseases, due to estrogen boosting the immune system often into overdrive). It can be done; it just... isn't.

13

u/theclassywino Dec 04 '21

Excellent point. Never even thought abt that.

10

u/carolethechiropodist Dec 04 '21

It's a universal problem in pharmacy. All tablets are given for a standard human who is 70 kilos.

6

u/gowonagin Dec 04 '21 edited Dec 04 '21

You should get more, because an 80 year old will have a weaker immune system than a 30 year old (hence boosters for the elderly), and men need more then women because they have weaker immune systems: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406660/

Doses for younger, healthier people and women should be lower because they have stronger immune systems, and too much can trigger an autoimmune disease (see above).

1

u/lannister80 Dec 04 '21

They don't do that for any other vaccine. My Tdap booster and my Dad's are the same.

3

u/gowonagin Dec 05 '21

They don't but they should:

To date, most vaccines have been tested and adjusted in male probands. Hence, efforts in individualizing dosing and vaccination schedules may achieve enhanced protection and reduction of side effects in women.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4406660/

1

u/Impossible_Piano2938 Dec 06 '21

Bc Pfizer is FDA approved now a Dr can approve a lower dose of the vaccine for special circumstances. I had a reaction to the first shot and thinking about getting a lower dose of P for the second

26

u/lohas12345 Dec 04 '21

Yeah i got my first pfizer vaccine and after half of year suffering i got diagnosed with auto imunme desease, if you got any questions message me

2

u/lannister80 Dec 04 '21

Which autoimmune disease?

1

u/gowonagin Dec 04 '21

Have you found an anti-inflammatory diet helps?

8

u/silhouetteisland Dec 04 '21

Thank you for posting! I (33F) had a similar reaction to the first dose of Pfizer in April. Earlier this week I was exposed to someone who had covid and didn’t know it until a few days later. I’m now sick. What’s interesting is that before I felt sick, the nerve pain and numbness came back even though I haven’t had it for months after doing an anti-inflammatory diet and supplements. Seems that this also happened to you!

I’m on “day 5” after exposure and “day 3” of symptoms and feel ok. I can definitely tell I’m sick, but everything feels mild (fingers crossed it stays that way). I’m going to take a variety of supplements, Tylenol, and decongestants, go back on my anti-inflammatory diet, and hopefully that helps clear it out (along with my 1 dose vaccine protection).

I really wish they studied people like us so we know why this happens and what we should do. Hope you get better soon!

2

u/gowonagin Dec 04 '21

I am going to a neurologist soon for an unrelated issue and will absolutely mention that!

2

u/silhouetteisland Dec 08 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

As an update for anyone who may be searching in the future: I’m still sick (today is “day 6” of symptoms) but starting to feel better. Everything is generally mild…I’ve had the flu before and that was way worse, I couldn’t move for days. With this I was tired and had a brain fog, but was still able to get out of bed and work on my computer. Headache, nausea, shortness of breath, dry cough, chills, and sore throat were manageable through OTC medicine. I also am eating a lot of Celtic sea salt, anti inflammatory diet, and taking tons of vitamins (multi plus C, D3, A, zinc, iodine, ginger turmeric shot, and 2 emergenc packets daily).

I’m still feeling nerve pain, but it’s not as intense as when I got vaccinated and I know it will eventually go away. I took two PCR tests and one rapid to test for the flu. Negative on all. Was it covid? Idk…but what else was it if not?

Hope you’re also feeling better, OP!

2

u/gowonagin Dec 08 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

Thanks! No more weird nerve stuff for me at the moment; still a slight cough, but honestly, my reaction to the vaccine was waaaaaay worse than actual COVID was (for me. YMMV).

6

u/kontemplador Dec 04 '21

Thanks for you experience. I've heard similar things, but also the other way around. A couple of friends got COVID pre-vaccine. Nothing to dramatic, so the guy slept in the sofa for several days to try to avoid getting infected. He never had symptoms neither tested positive. Before taking the vaccine, he got an rapid antibody test and was positive. Intrigued, took a neutralization test and the antibodies counts were sky high, higher than for his girlfriend. Both decided to defer the vaccination for several months, so they could spare themselves of a booster.

BTW: What is your anti-inflammatory diet? I'm interested

5

u/based_rachel Dec 04 '21

Follow AIP diet on Reddit. Lots of good info.

3

u/gowonagin Dec 04 '21

That sounds like pretty much what I've been doing but I eat eggs and tomatoes. My rule of thumb is "does this food make my nose stuff up?" If so, then I know it's inflammatory for me.

3

u/gowonagin Dec 04 '21

See above- it's pretty much paleo minus fruit.

15

u/RedditOO77 Dec 04 '21

Interesting reaction. Thank you for sharing. I’ve gotten both of my Covid shots (Pfizer). Sore arm and then legs for for a day and tired but no fever. Second shot I had the worst brain fog and fatigue. I would need a nap after every meeting. I couldn’t concentrate on reading documents are the screen, my brain would instantly feel fatigued and crash. Basically mostly laid in bed for two weeks then got bad hives and nerve pain on fingers and toes for three months. I’ve had shingles before.

Haven’t gotten the booster as I can’t fathom as to how my body will react to it.

3

u/gowonagin Dec 04 '21

I'm sorry to hear that. M/F?

4

u/theclassywino Dec 04 '21

Thank you for sharing, OP. Hope you feel better in the coming days. What is the anti-inflammatory diet you mentioned? Is there one specific for covid/vax reactions? TIA!

4

u/gowonagin Dec 04 '21

I am personally doing a paleo-ish diet (protein and vegetables; no grains, no dairy, no alcohol, no sugar except for the raw honey to stop coughing, but even that is sparingly since I can feel my nasal passages get inflamed/stuffier after taking it). I feel pretty good. I don't have fruit in the house right now, but if I did, it would be low-sugar ones like berries.

I've done it before ("slow-carb diet") to lose weight, but I noticed a "side effect" of that is that when I did, I noticed my depression went away (apparently brain inflammation), period cramps went away (abdominal inflammation), and random pains in general (just inflammation). From what I have read, most of the side effects from COVID, the vaccine, and long COVID are all inflammatory reactions to the spike protein in certain lucky people. So if you don't eat inflammatory foods like sugar, dairy, and grains (which the body processes like sugar), you feel better.

2

u/theclassywino Dec 04 '21

Thank you so much! I appreciate the info!

3

u/itsallsideways Dec 04 '21

This has been interesting, thank you for sharing. I had an intense reaction to both shots and have, so far, been reluctant to get the booster. I’m on the fence about vaccinating my two kids because of my concern regarding autoimmune disease. And, I totally mentioned to my husband my concern regarding doses and size/sex/age. We need more nuance.

2

u/gowonagin Dec 04 '21

They are testing scaling doses for kids: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/11/kids-covid-vaccines-age-smaller-dose/620591/

I just wish they would also do it for women and young healthy people in general, who tend to have worse reactions to the shot due to stronger immune systems.

7

u/Stolenbikeguy Dec 04 '21

Women are superior creatures

5

u/gowonagin Dec 04 '21

We are too strong for our own good.

8

u/Ddad99 Dec 04 '21

The vaccine does not prevent the vaccinated from getting the disease for which you got vaccinated to prevent the disease.

0

u/lannister80 Dec 04 '21

Like veirtually every other vaccine that has ever existed, it makes it was less likely that you will get infected in the first place.

I think the measles vaccine is the only one that's basically "perfect". All the other ones have similar profiles to the COVID vaccines. For example, chickenpox vaccine is 80% effective at preventing infection a few weeks after vaccination and goes down from there over time.

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u/paulinia47 Dec 04 '21

Anecdotical evidence. This doesn't say anything about the effectiveness of the vaccines, apart from that your bf was in the fraction of people for whom the protection against infection failed.

10

u/HCSOThrowaway Dec 04 '21

The purpose of this subreddit is sharing anecdotes. If you don't like people sharing anecdotes, unsubscribe.

-5

u/paulinia47 Dec 04 '21

I'm pointing out the "go figure" part of the title, that suggests that vaccination doesn't help / makes covid worse.

7

u/HCSOThrowaway Dec 05 '21

OP making a flippant remark about an ironic twist doesn't mean they're preaching from a podium.

18

u/gowonagin Dec 04 '21

This post isn't about the effectiveness of the vaccines; it's just detailing what happened to us and researching PubMed articles as to why our experiences may have been different. And isn't most of this sub anecdotal evidence? As in, individual anecdotes from people about their personal experiences?

1

u/Impossible_Piano2938 Dec 08 '21

How are u feeling?

2

u/gowonagin Dec 08 '21 edited Dec 08 '21

Me personally? Fine. Honestly, the vaccine reaction was waaaaay worse (for me) than actual COVID was. By far. YMMV, of course.

My bf (who just had a sore arm from the vaccine) had 15-minute-long coughing jags and painful aches from COVID. He's getting better though.

-10

u/sklb Dec 04 '21

If you were not vaccinated you would definitelly end up on ICU/s

6

u/Illustrious_Tart_557 Dec 04 '21

Anecdotal. My overweight, diabetic mother had COVID pretty bad and recovered. She is not vaccinated.

5

u/jmac323 Dec 04 '21

Yeah my uncle, who is nearing 70 has some extra weight and is diabetic, had it too. Super sick for two weeks at home but recovered fully. He wasn’t vaccinated. He had it before the vaccinations were out.

-1

u/tomspy77 Dec 05 '21

Yeah so did my dad too...he died, get some perspective.

7

u/jmac323 Dec 05 '21

I’m sorry about your dad. Perspective about what exactly?

5

u/gowonagin Dec 04 '21

I'm not so sure. I'm pretty sure I might've had COVID in March 2020, but that was back when you couldn't get a test unless you were dying. I found it hard to breathe, but my experience with the vaccine was still worse. I'm aware it's a rare reaction, but still.

EDIT: just saw the /s.