COVID vaccines have been out for over a year, and life, as we know it, is back to normal.
Alike is a social health app where people with different chronic conditions can connect and interact with others with the same conditions and characteristics as them about various health-related topics.
In an open discussion on the app, the Alike users were invited to share their experience with COVID vaccine. Below are the main experiences and insights based on 553 stories of users who suffer from one or more chronic conditions.
Overall, people with chronic conditions have had positive experiences with receiving the COVID vaccines. Many have reported feeling a sense of relief and protection after receiving the vaccine, as they are at a higher risk of severe illness if they were to contract COVID. Some have noted that the vaccine has reduced their anxiety and fear around potential exposure to the virus.
Many have emphasized the importance of getting the vaccine in order to protect themselves and others, especially given the potential serious consequences of COVID for those with chronic conditions. Many have expressed that the vaccine has given them a sense of hope and optimism for the future
"I have multiple sclerosis and was a bit nervous about getting the vaccine because I've heard that people with chronic conditions can have more severe reactions. However, I'm happy to report that my experience was great. The vaccine process was quick and easy, and I haven't had any side effects. I feel much more protected now that I'm vaccinated.”
"I have Crohn's disease and was a little hesitant about getting the vaccine because of my weakened immune system. However, my doctor assured me that it was safe and recommended it. I'm glad I listened because I haven't had any problems at all. The vaccine process was quick and easy, and I feel much safer now that I'm vaccinated.”
Some individuals with chronic conditions have experienced side effects following vaccination, such as fatigue or muscle aches, but these have generally been described as mild and temporary.
"I had side effects with every one, fever, chills, body aches, etc. Worth it though for the peace of mind.”
Those who had to take multiple doses of the vaccine reported feeling worse on the second shot. Symptoms ranged from severe headache, chills, fatigue, and loss of appetite.
"The first one gave me a sore arm for a day. The second once gave me mild flu symptoms the next day, but nothing else. Haven't gotten the booster yet.”
Others have reported that the process of obtaining the vaccine was relatively smooth, with many finding that their healthcare providers were able to provide them with information and assistance in navigating the process.
Some have noted that the vaccine has reduced their anxiety and fear around potential exposure to the virus
Overall, the consensus among those with chronic conditions on the Alike app seems to be that the benefits of the vaccine outweigh any potential side effects, and that getting vaccinated is an important step towards protecting both individual and community health.
One thing is certain, COVID seems like it will stick around for the foreseeable future. Much like the flu, the virus will mutate and continue to develop new strains such as Omicron. The vaccines will continue to be available and modified with boosters as necessary to help boost our immune systems and prevent us from getting sick.
We clearly see a very wide range of experiences as for the symptoms.
While some of the users have not experienced sickness of any kind since being vaccinated, others continue to get sick, despite having the vaccine and multiple boosters, such as this user:
Some studies have shown that waiting a few months between vaccination and booster improve efficacy and lower the risk of potential side effects. The U.S. and Canada have been the first to approve a vaccine that is safe for children as young as six months old. This is a great step forward, especially for parents of newborns and for those who have children back in school.
To speak with others about your experience and theirs, join in the conversation now via mobile or web at: Alike Health