BC Healthline community members describe their experiences getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
For many people living with chronic health conditions, the decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine can feel overwhelming.
If you’re immunocompromised, you may be nervous about the side effects of the vaccine.
However, being immunocompromised also comes with a greater risk of developing more severe COVID-19 complications and requiring hospitalization.
Whether you are currently undergoing treatment or have completed treatment for breast cancer, you likely have questions about how the vaccine may affect you.
Talking with your doctor is a great first step to figure out the best time to receive your vaccination. There are a few specific instances when a doctor may suggest adjusting the timing of your medication.
If your doctor has recommended that you get the vaccine, but you still feel anxious or confused, that is perfectly understandable, too.
It can be helpful to hear from others who understand the emotions you are feeling firsthand.
We asked BC Healthline community members about how they felt receiving their COVID-19 vaccines. Here’s what they had to say.
“I have had both shots of Moderna. I only experienced a sore arm with the first shot. After the second shot, I had no side effects. I am glad I got the vaccine.” — Anonymous
“I have had both shots. Minimum side effects. I wanted to do it for my family. Everyone was so worried they would give the virus to me… so now no worries!” — Cynthia
“I actually received my first shot of the Pfizer vaccine while I was still doing chemo. I only had two rounds left and my oncologist encouraged me to get it. He said it wouldn’t cause harm because of the chemo.
“Chemo may make the vaccine not quite as effective, but it will still offer a lot of protection. If you still contract COVID-19 after being vaccinated, it decreases the chances of death.
“My rationale is: I’m not going to endure all these treatments with awful side effects and changes to my body to survive cancer only to die from a virus!” — Jessica
“I felt very safe. I showed up at my local hospital where they had parking spaces for the vaccine center only. I was given hand sanitizer and a fresh mask if I wanted it.
“Everything was spaced far apart. Everything was like a well-oiled machine. From parking to getting the actual shot was maybe 15 minutes, tops. Then I waited 30 minutes to monitor for a reaction and left.
“I came home, had lunch, and took a nap. I was feeling sleepy.” — Monica Haro, BC Healthline Community Guide
“My doctors highly recommended getting vaccinated. I’ve already had both shots. I’m still on immunotherapy infusions with Herceptin and Perjeta. Plus, I was in radiation during my first shot.
“I had the Moderna shots and everything went just fine. I went to get vaccinated with my 102-year-old grandmother. She didn’t skip a beat and felt fine with both shots too!” — Montana35
“I had both shots of Pfizer. I experienced fever, headache, chills, and fatigue for about 24 hours. But I also heard that a reaction is good because it shows your immune system kicked in.” — Linda Lee
“I took the vaccine as soon as I could get an appointment. I haven’t gone through surgery and chemo and radiation in the hopes of getting rid of my cancer, only to die from COVID-19 if a vaccine can prevent it!” — June R.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccine may feel like a big decision, but it doesn’t need to be scary.
If you’re looking for a community that understands what you’re going through as you navigate vaccines while living with cancer, the BC Healthline community has your back.
Elinor Hills is an associate editor at Healthline. She’s passionate about the intersection of emotional well-being and physical health as well as how individuals form connections through shared medical experiences. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, photography, drawing, and spending way too much of her time running.