So I am now one of the nearly 1.7 million people in New Jersey that are fully vaccinated. And how I felt after the second shot compared to the first was totally different.

Let me say this at first -- I'm not writing this to dissuade anyone from getting one of the COVID-19 vaccines. I share this as someone who's been through the entire process. If you haven't, here's what you might experience.

I received the first Pfizer vaccine shot back on March 10th at the Atlantic City Convention Center (as many have said, it is one of the most amazingly efficient things you'll ever see -- every person working at the megasite is doing an incredible job). Following the shot, my arm was sore for about 24-48 hours. A couple Tylenol made the discomfort (and it wasn't even discomfort - more like you accidentally walked into a corner of a wall or something) go away. Besides that, absolutely no side effects.

Fast forward to this past Wednesday when I got the second shot back at the Convention Center. I was in at 8:30 in the morning and out by 9:00. I felt fine and went to work. All day at work, everything was normal -- except my arm was sore again (no big deal). I left work at 7:00 and I remember saying to myself, "I feel great -- I'm going to get through this with no side effects at all!"

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That was 7:00.

By 8:00, chills had set in. At 9:00, I had a 100-degree fever. At 10:00, the body aches started - my joints really hurt.

Given all of that, I didn't sleep too badly that night, although I slept way past my alarm going off the next morning on purpose.

I went to work on Thursday. I was physically here but certainly not mentally. I was out of it. I was physically sitting in the chair in my office but I was barely participating in society. I didn't feel bad, just out of it. Not "spaced-out," but a different kind of tired. More drained than tired.

I fell asleep on the couch around 8:00 Thursday night. I went to bed at 9:30 and I don't even remember falling asleep -- but, when I woke-up Friday morning, I felt perfectly fine. Every side effect had completely disappeared.

The common side effects of the COVID vaccines, at least the Pfizer shots, seem to be headache and nausea (I didn't have either), aches, fever, and joint pain -- those I had.

It was an interesting 24-36 hours, to say the least.

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