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Comparing our vaccination experiences with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Image: Pexels
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EIC and former news editor compare experiences of getting different vaccines in different provinces

During the week of May 13-20 Charley Dutil and Bridget Coady received their first COVID-19 vaccine doses. Charley received Moderna while Bridget got Pfizer. In the boredom of the Fulcrum’s off-season and the school’s summer semester, the two agreed to document and compare side effects of the shots. 

It should be noted before continuing that neither of them consider the following to be medical advice. The goal of this piece is not to endorse either one of these vaccines over the other. Both are happy to have received their first dose and eagerly await their second despite any minor side effects. 

Vaccine appointment experience

Bridget (Pfizer): I received my vaccine in Toronto at Cloverdale mall in an abandoned Target. I was done within 25 minutes of my appointment time and barely felt the needle. This immunization clinic only offered Pfizer and looked to be able to serve around 50 people at a time. 

The fifteen minutes of waiting after the shot were uneventful. I spent the time looking at the art for sale set up around the waiting area and listening to music. When I went to sign out I received my vaccination receipt and the coveted “I got the COVID-19 vaccine” sticker which is now safely stored in my clear phone case. 

Charley (Moderna): I booked my vaccine online on Quebec’s Click Santé website on May 13. Originally I booked my vaccine for June 3 at the closest location to my house. However, upon further review of the website, I discovered that pharmacies a little further from my house were offering the vaccine for individuals in the 18+ bracket starting on May 19 so I booked an appointment. 

At the clinic it was in and out, a retired nurse asked me why I had an Ontario health card, I explained I lived in Ottawa but was back in Montreal at my parents house for the summer and she quickly gave me the shot. Fifteen minutes later, I was sitting in my Kia taking a vaccine selfie for Twitter and Instagram. Sadly, with only 280 followers on Instagram and 192 on Twitter the government didn’t pay me for my selfie.

Sore arm?

Bridget: Yes. The injection site was sore but for only two days and only noticeable when making major movements with my arm. As someone who performs little to no physical activity in my daily life this was not an issue, I just didn’t sleep on my left side. 

Charley: Similar to Bridget, my arm was a little sore. It felt like a bruise for about a day, I still slept on it though cause I ain’t no wuss.

Headache?

Bridget: Don’t take my word for it, but yes. I am prone to headaches as is and I had a slight headache that went away after taking an Advil. 

Charley: Nope. I had a little bit of brain fog the night of the shot, but turns out it was because I hadn’t eaten any fruits or vegetables in a while.   

Nausea?

Bridget: Yes. Brief spell of nausea accompanied the headache but went away with a nap. 

Charley: Nope.

Other?

Bridget: Upon hearing that Charley and I were writing this piece, the Fulcrum’s 2020/2021 features editor Amira Benjamin said “I hear hot girls get Pfizer so you’ve already beat him there”. So I’d say the case is closed.

Charley: I am now a modern man. I’m so funny it’s incredible.

Final thoughts

Bridget: I am extremely grateful for the volunteers and workers who made my vaccine experience so seamless and quick. I’d like to thank Target for giving up on the Canadian demographic and leaving that store abandoned.

Charley: Although the vaccine rollout has been widely criticized in Canada, I think Quebec’s Click Santé website is very user-friendly and has streamlined Quebec’s vaccination efforts compared to other provinces. So I’d like to thank the much shat-on bureaucrats for their work operating the site.