Firsthand accounts reveal a wide range of different reactions to each dose.

Our Japanese-language reporter Seiji Nakazawa found himself in a sweat recently, and it wasn’t because of the heat from the summer sun.

He’d received his second dose of the Moderna vaccine earlier that day, and while he felt fine after the first jab, and immediately after receiving the second, his temperature suddenly rose to about 39 degrees Celsius (102.2 degrees Fahrenheit) that night.

After finding himself in a sweat, he then started trembling with the chills and had to turn off the air conditioner, changing into long pants and socks. It was an unseasonable outfit for summer, and he ended up tossing and turning through the night and into the next afternoon, when his temperature finally dropped to 38 degrees.

Feeling like he’d crossed over to the other side of the mountain, he slept for the rest of the day, with his temperature returning to normal on the third day after his vaccination.

Seiji was one of the last in the office to get his two jabs, and after experiencing the side effects from the second dose, he decided to ask our other reporters how they fared with their own side effects.

Their reactions were as follows:

・ Mr Sato (Moderna)

First vaccination: “The next day, I had a fever of 37.8 degrees, and myalgia continued for three days. One week later, the injection site became red and swollen and turned into the so-called ‘Moderna arm’ (where a red rash appears around the injection site)”.

Second vaccination: “The next day, I had a fever of 37.6 degrees. Other than that, there were no symptoms like the first one, and I felt fully recovered by the afternoon on the second day after inoculation”.

・ Ikuna Kamezawa (Moderna)

First vaccination: “I had a sore arm for two to three days, but it was okay as long as I didn’t sleep on it”.

Second vaccination: “On the second day, I had a fever of about 37.5 degrees. It wasn’t really bad, but I didn’t feel great so I didn’t push it and went to bed early. I slept like a log and woke up the next day with a normal temperature and felt much better by then”.

・ Masanuki Sunakoma (Moderna)

First vaccination: “I had pain at the injection site. Maybe it was because I exercised three days after the inoculation, but four days later I got a 40-degree fever so I went to the doctor and took a PCR test but it came back negative. Symptoms subsided the day after taking an antipyretic, which was six days after inoculation”.

Second vaccination: “On the day of inoculation, I had myalgia and drowsiness. However, it only lasted until the afternoon of the second day. I was pretty scared that the side effects would be similar to what I experienced after my first dose, but thankfully, it was nothing compared to the first jab”.

・ Takashi Harada (Pfizer)

First vaccination: “Pain near the injection site continued for two days. The day after the inoculation, I developed a slight fever of 37.3 degrees in the morning, but it wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t move, and it calmed down by the evening. I didn’t take any medicine and felt back to normal on the third day”.

Second vaccination: “I woke up in the middle of the night on the day of inoculation with mild chills. I felt less pain near the injection site than the first time. I had a mild headache the next morning, but I took some headache medicine and felt better. There were no major side effects, and the night after the injection, I felt back to normal”.

・ P.K. Sanjun (Moderna)

First vaccination: “No side effects in particular. It hurt when I touched the injection site”.

Second vaccination: “Fever continued all day the day after the jab. The day after that, the fever subsided, but I had a headache”.

・ Yuichiro Wasai (Moderna)

First vaccination: “Immediately after the vaccination, I felt a tingling pain. The next day, in addition to a painful arm, I also felt tired. Two days after inoculation, the fatigue disappeared, and three days after inoculation, the pain in my arm disappeared”.

Second vaccination: “Approximately three hours after the inoculation, my arm hurt and I couldn’t raise it. The next day I had a fever, headache, and malaise. My body temperature only rose to about 37 degrees, but I was in bed all day. The next morning (two days after inoculation), the symptoms of fever, headache, and malaise had almost subsided, and the next day (three days after inoculation), the pain in my arm had pretty much disappeared”.

・ Go Hatori (Moderna)

First vaccination: “The injection site was swollen and painful but it was back to normal in about two days”.

Second vaccination: “I felt sluggish on the day of inoculation and throughout the next day. I had a nightmare on the night of the first day, where I dreamed that Masanuki was a last boss in a video game, but I was fine after that and I didn’t have any fever”.

・ Ahiruneko (Moderna)

First vaccination: “Immediately after the inoculation, the pain started. I couldn’t raise my arm, and I couldn’t hold heavy objects for about two days”.

Second vaccination: “A fever began to appear in the morning after the inoculation, and even after taking an antipyretic, I had a high fever in the 38-degree range, with chills and joint pain. It felt like the flu but I had an appetite and I recovered the day afterwards”.

・ Kawarano (Moderna)

First vaccination: “There was a dull pain when I tried to raise my arm on the day. The next day, there was pain at the injection site and my entire arm felt heavy. It was considerably lighter on the third day, though, and there was no swelling. I had a 38-degree fever from around the 27-hour mark through to the 81-hour mark but I slept during that time and I took an antipyretic twice”.

Second vaccination: “There were considerably less side effects than the first time. This time, the injection site became slightly red. The fever came earlier than the first time, around 12 hours later, when my temperature rose to 37.5 degrees, before peaking at 38.6 degrees. The fever lasted for around 72 hours, but it was easier than the first time, and on the third day I was able to get back to work.”

Looking at our team’s side effects, it appears there were a wide range of reactions to the vaccine. Some were hit harder by the first dose, while others were more affected by the second, and for some, the side effects were milder than others.

Still, despite all the side effects, every one of our reporters said they were glad they received their vaccine and had no regrets about it at all. And despite being double-vaxxed they’re still continuing to wear masks and keep their distance wherever possible (some of the photos above were taken pre-pandemic).

If you’re still nervous about getting the jab, this firsthand account will guide you through every step of the process currently in place at the mass vaccination centre in Tokyo. And once you’ve received your jab, don’t forget to to get a vaccination certificate afterwards so you can travel overseas like our reporter Ikuna, who’s now over in Spain safe and sound.

Photos © SoraNews24
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