Scared of being inoculated? Don’t be – there’s nothing to fear but your fear itself

The trouble with Covid-19 is that, as fearful as it is, it’s not fearful enough and many are not as frightened of it as they ought to be. Only this can explain why, even as India records the highest number of cases globally, too many people neglect masks and social distancing, and are reluctant to be vaccinated because of suspected side-effects, such as blood clots.

As someone who from childhood has been averse to needles, I was what is called an anti-vaxxer, a person scared of vaccination. When I recently gritted my mental teeth and took the first dose of the vaccine, it was a load off my mind.

Before being inoculated, it’s best to eat something light, like fruit or a piece of toast. You barely feel the needle and it’s all over in less than ten seconds. The injection is administered not in the arm but in the deltoid shoulder muscle.

I took a paracetamol tablet to ease the soreness which is an after-effect at the site of the inoculation, and was advised to keep myself well-hydrated by drinking a lot of water.

Unlike others who have complained about fever after being vaccinated, I had no rise in temperature. I did feel a sense of fatigue, but managed comfortably to do my daily walk of four kilometres.

The vaccine can cause gastric bloating of the stomach in some cases, and alcohol should be avoided for 48 hours, other than that there are no dietary restrictions.

One of the reasons many are afraid of the procedure is because of the omnipresent description of it as a ‘jab’, a staccato word the very sound of which conveys a sense of sharp hurt, and is a term used in boxing to describe a painful punch.

‘Shot’ is the other commonly used word to describe inoculation and is no better, being associated with the trauma of being struck by a projectile such as a bullet.

Perhaps a campaign should be launched to make vaccination sound less fearsomely painful, which in reality it isn’t at all, barring some localised soreness and stiffness which eases after a day or two. Perhaps ‘vax’ might be a good substitute for ‘jab’ or ‘shot’. As in: Don’t vacillate, vax-inate.



This article is intended to bring a smile to your face. Any connection to events and characters in real life is coincidental.


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