Covid Vaccine Booster

Quick takeaway: I have adrenal insufficiency (one adrenal was removed with my kidney due to cancer, steroid-dependent (post-Cushing’s Disease), growth hormone insufficiency, panhypopituitary.  I had some issues after my first COVID-19 injection (Moderna) but not too bad.  My booster was October 27, 2021.  That time I was smart and updosed on my Cortef (hydrocortisone) right after the shot.  My main side effects this time were chills and fatigue.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021: This time I went to a CVS inside a Target store.

I got a text from CVS asking me to click a link when I arrived at 11:00 and it gave me directions on where to go.

I was about 10 minutes early, so I had to wait a bit, even though no one was ahead of me.

The nurse asked if left arm was ok to use.

The shot was not quite as fast – I felt it a bit but I am used to giving myself daily injections so this was no biggie..

I sat in the waiting area for about 10 minutes to be sure there were no problems but no one checked on me.

This time I was smart – right after leaving the CVS I took a stress dose of Cortef (hydrocortisone).

I also had an appointment with my doctor about a recurring cyst.  She prescribed doxycycline (antibiotic) twice a day on an empty stomach.

I cancelled my piano students for the day and took a nap for the rest of the day wearing a sweater and hoodie and under three blankets – I was so cold and a little dizzy/disoriented – I can never remember the difference between the two.. 

I was so tired, I skipped my growth hormone injection.

My arm seems like it is more sore than last time.

About 2 am, I got up needing to go to the bathroom and I was still so cold.  I was under 3 blankets and a bathrobe. 

Thursday, October 28, 2021:  My arm was sorer than Monday and I was still feeling very cold and dizzy. 


It was a work day so I went in but I know I nodded off at my desk a few times.  I went home about 3 and fell asleep almost immediately.  My DH woke up at 6 for a meeting – I had intended to sleep through it.  It was at church, so I laid down on one of the pews and slept there through the meeting.  DH took me home instead of going to choir rehearsal.

I skipped my growth hormone injection again.

I had no trouble sleeping this time and slept until about 10 on Friday.

Friday, October 29, 2021:  I don’t know if it’s from the injection of the antibiotic but I threw up in the morning and I went back to sleep. I was feeling cold but I don’t know if it was chills or really a cold. 

It was my mom’s birthday (98!) but we didn’t really get to celebrate much.

I skipped my growth hormone injection again.  I didn’t fall asleep right away at bedtime and was able to read a little bit so that’s an improvement!

Saturday, October 30, 2021: I’m a little more tired than usual but ok – I woke up about 8 for my first antibiotic and didn’t take my first nap until 12:30.  Then, I spent time napping through the day. I’m still cold but “normal cold” with just a sweatshirt (and socks).

My arm is achy but not really sore like yesterday.

Sunday, October 31, 2021: Just the normal tiredness.  Hooray!  We went back to water exercise.  I took off my bandage for the first time and noticed that the site had bled a little. Oh well. While I was in the pool, I had another of those lightning headaches but didn’t get out of the pool for Tylenol because I knew it was quick.

Info below from  I’ve had the bold ones so far after the second injection.


Moderna started Phase III clinical trials for its vaccine candidate in July. In earlier trials, nearly half of patients experienced common adverse effects like injection site pain, rash, headaches, muscle soreness, nausea and fevers after the second injection. These effects generally subsided within two days. CNBC spoke to a few individuals, some participating in Moderna’s trial and some in Pfizer’s trial who said much the same thing: the side effects were intense and included a high fever, body aches, bad headaches and exhaustion, but were worth it for protection from Covid-19.

In the FDA report published in December, the most common side effects were pain at injection site (91.6% of patients), fatigue (68.5%), headache (63.0%), muscle pain (59.6%), joint pain (44.8%), and chills (43.4%). Three patients experienced Bell’s Palsy, a sudden, and usually temporary, weakening or paralysis of the facial muscles.

A few patients with facial fillers experienced swelling after receiving the vaccine. They were treated with antihistamines and steroids. In California, officials halted the use of one particular batch of Moderna vaccines (lot 41L20A) after a small cluster (fewer than 10) of patients at one particular site experienced allergic reactions that required medical attention.

Out of the first 7.5 million doses administered from Dec 14- Jan 18, 19 cases of anaphylaxis were reported to VAERS after the Moderna vaccine. No patients have died from anaphylaxis. Patients are now being monitored for 15-30 minutes after receiving the vaccine to watch for signs of anaphylaxis.

Many patients are reporting injection site reactions that show up shortly after the injection or up to a week later. These reactions — which are characterized by swelling, redness, itching, rashes, heat and pain — are expected to last a day to a week. Physicians emphasize that while these effects can be scary, they are not dangerous and should not prevent someone from getting the second shot. So far, doctors do not report seeing these reactions after the second shot, however so few have been given so far that scientists are not sure how common it will be on round two.

The CDC reports that 11% of patients experienced swollen lymph nodes after the first shot. That raised to 16% after the second shot.

A study posted on Feb 1 showed that patients who received the vaccine after having been previously infected with COVID-19 showed greater immune response to the first shot and more intense side effects that are associated with strong immune responses like fever and muscle aches. The study included patients who received either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine. Some scientists believe these patients may only need a single shot to provide sufficient immunity, but more research is needed.

Moderna has announced that it will begin testing its vaccine in children and adolescents, who they believe may have stronger immune responses, leading to more intense side effects.

This page has information about the other brands of vaccine:

A really good article – Coronavirus Life: What To Expect When You Get Vaccinated Against COVID-19

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