Over the weekend, Tim and I got our Shingles Shots. We were seeking protection from the shingles in the photo on the right. As far as I know there is no vaccine for the one on the left. Still isn't it strange that it's the same word?
A few years ago poor Tim actually had Shingles and it was horrible. Those unbelievably painful blisters were all over the side of his face, his neck, his shoulder and even in his ear! I felt so bad for him, poor baby. By the time it was over we both decided that once it was safe to do so, we would both get the Shingles Vaccine. So we marked it on the calendar and when that date popped up, off we went to the local pharmacy to get the shot. Only to learn that there was a (at that time) a shortage and no vaccine was available.
Dang. We tried periodically over the next few months, only to hear the same story over and over and eventually it just kind of fell off our radar. Then along came the Pandemic and when we got our Covid shots it reminded us that we never got the Shingles shot. Then I got notification that I needed my second Pnuemonia shot. So I showed up for that and I asked about the Shingles shot. Yes they had it on hand, but it was suggested that I wait a few weeks. Ok.
The few weeks were up this past weekend so we both showed up and signed up. We filled out the paperwork and the pharmacist asked me if I also wanted the over 65 Flu shot. Sure, why not. As long as it's ok to have at the same time okay! I have two arms, why not get two shots and get it all over and done with at the same time.
And that's how I noticed that while it's never a barrel of laughs to get a shot of any kind, there was a noticeable difference between the Shingles Vaccine and the Flu Vaccine. i.e. the Shingles vaccine was more hurty. I actually could feel it being ouchie as the vaccine was entering my body. Not screaming and yelling with pain for heaven's sakes, just........noticeable. I even said so out loud to the pharmacist as he was giving me the shot. He agreed with me. "Yes, the Shingles Vaccine causes a little bit more discomfort"
Not any where near as much discomfort as having Shingles mind you, just a little more than the flu shot. And I wondered why that would be so. So I looked it up. Of course I did. Turns out that the experts aren't absolutely certain why although they all agree that it's true. They have their suspicions of course.
"Some vaccines tend to hurt a little more than others, like ones targeting hepatitis A and B and DTaP (for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis). It’s not totally clear why, but it’s possible that additives designed to strengthen the immune system, like aluminum salts or monophosphoryl lipid A, are the culprit. “These are safe ingredients added to the vaccine specifically to create a stronger immune response,” Messonnier told the paper, adding that some people might be more sensitive to them than others."
Other studies have shown that things like the PH level of the solution, the volume or perhaps that temperature of the vaccine in relation to the temperature of the body are the part of the issue. They just aren't sure.
And of course it's is the body's protective response that causes any pain at all. Think about it, the injection is introducing something unfamiliar into your body. So your body's defenses are Johnny on the Spot, ready to protect you, trying to do battle with this newcomer. And the ensuing war is what actually causes the inflammation and discomfort at the injection site. Effectively, we are doing it to ourselves! LOL
No matter. The discomfort only lasted a short time and I'm smart enough to know to relax while being given the vaccine and to keep moving, - keep the blood circulating - because yes that always helps too. And I feel so much better knowing that we are now protected against as many things as we can be.
There is always the possibility of some new weird thing coming along to try to trip us up but as soon as there is a vaccine available for the new thing, we will get that too. In the same way that I do not get in the car with the drunk driver, I try to always make good decisions with regard to my own safety, health and well being.
Just my thoughts on the matter. I will always respect the choices that other people make for themselves. And I hope that likewise, other folks will respect the choices that Tim and I have made. It's pretty simple. Golden Rule and all that.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.