This is a personal account of Teresa’s Vaccine-related Story. Teresa completed the Autoimmune Sisters vaccine-related story form and submitted with permission to share.
Teresa’s Vaccine-related Story: As a 34 year old mother of a toddler, I chose to get the vaccine because I felt more comfortable with the risks of the vaccine than with the risks of the virus.
This decision was made after speaking with my rheumatologist and functional medicine provider, who both felt that it was the best option for me due to my already complicated immune system and the seriousness of the virus. Any lingering hesitancy went out the window upon learning that vaccinated individuals are less likely to suffer serious symptoms/be hospitalized and less likely to die from COVID. I’ve known people who have suffered from “long COVID” and people who have passed away due to the virus.
Name: Teresa Heath
Occupation: Program Manager
Family/Children: I am married with a 2.5 year old daughter.
IG Handle: @teresahhhh
Autoimmune Diseases: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Chronic Viruses: N/a
Physical Activity/Dietary/Lifestyle Preferences: I eat grain and dairy free. I exercise about 2-3x a week and otherwise am always chasing my toddler around. I am blessed to be able to sleep 8 hours most nights.
Do you have any of the following COVID “high risk” factors? Check all that apply: I have no COVID “high risk” factors
Are you under the care of a medical doctor?: Yes
What kind of doctor(s)/provider(s) do you work with? Explain: Rheumatologist and functional medicine provider (Nurse practitioner)
What data/evidence did your doctor provide to support you getting the vaccine?
My doctor was aware of the following study, which was published shortly after I received my vaccine: Risk of COVID-19 in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A National Veterans Affairs Matched Cohort Study in At-Risk Individuals via Wiley Online Library The reason I felt comfortable getting the vaccine after hearing about the yet-to-be-published study was that my doctor has always been a trustworthy companion on this journey.
What information or resources did you use to come to this conclusion on your own? All this to say, this pandemic is developing in real-time and there is no right answer. As I mentioned in my story, I’ve seen people around me suffer greatly, both from COVID and from losing loved ones, and I just felt more comfortable with the risk of the vaccine than with the risk of getting infected with COVID.
Health Related Questions:
Before receiving the vaccine, please describe your health along with any autoimmune, chronic or related illness symptoms you were experiencing. I was diagnosed with RA in 2012. Since then I’ve been dealing with occasional flares but chronic fatigue has been my most disruptive symptom.
What kind of prescribed medications do you currently take?: Plaquenil
What kind of vitamins/supplements do you currently take?: Vitamin d, DIM
Was your autoimmune and any co-viruses in remission at the time you received your vaccine? No
Vaccine Related Questions:
Prior to receiving the vaccine, did you already have Covid-19? No
Which vaccine did you receive?: Moderna
How many doses and when did you receive them?: First in March 2021 and second in April 2021
Did you have any adverse reactions to the vaccine?: Yes
Describe your adverse reactions to the vaccine. A few hours after my first dose I experienced a headache and fever that lasted a couple hours. After my second dose I experienced no side effects at all, though I was prepared for them, as I’d heard that the second dose could be a doozy.
Since having the vaccine, have you been tested for Covid-19 antibodies?: No
If not, do you plan to get your antibodies tested? Explain. Yes
Since getting the vaccine, have you contracted Covid-19? No
Interested in Sharing Your Autoimmune Sister Story?
Sharing your autoimmune story is the very core of what we believe in at Autoimmune Sisters. We believe in bio-individuality; that every woman is uniquely designed and therefore there is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
In addition to sharing your autoimmune story, we are now accepting submissions for those of you interested in sharing your story and how it relates to the Covid-19 vaccine. Keep reading to learn more!