As of Wednesday, March 30, 2021, over 130, 500 people had been vaccinated against COVID-19 in Kenya since the country received 1.12 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccines on March 3.
The AstraZeneca Covid-19 jab has been received halfheartedly in Kenya after several countries suspended its use over safety concerns.
A couple of Kenyans who have since been innoculated shared their experiences, revealing some of the jab’s side effects.
Businesswoman Mercy Claire said she started feeling some of the effects hours after getting the shot.
“Getting the jab itself is not painful. The nurse gives you a shot in the arm and you go away, to await the second dose after eight weeks. The nurse says you should contact the doctor if you have a headache or any other symptom.
“After getting the jab, I did not feel anything the whole day until the night fell. I started feeling feverish and sweaty and a little dizzy,” she said as quoted by the Star.
Mercy added: “I did not pay much attention to what was happening, but the night was not smooth and I could barely sleep. I have headache, fever, nausea and a lot of pain in my left arm. I could not sleep on the left side where the jab was administered because of pain. It is stinging a lot.”
According to the publication, Mercy said when she woke up the next day, the nausea was worse and she had an elevated temperature with no appetite.
“The headache, fever and sweating became too much. I even tried taking breakfast but could not do it. I am still feeling dizzy,” she recounted.
To alleviate the fever and nausea, Mercy took a mixture of ginger, honey and lemon.
“I got some relief but not a lot. Dizziness still persists. I still cannot lift my left arm without pain. I have to position my hand with a formula when typing! Direct touch to the site of jab is like a bee sting!” she said.
Another AstraZeneca Vaccine recipient, Edward Mathenge, said he also got a bad fever at night.
“I woke up from my sleep shaking at around 3am and the first instinct was to pull over a blanket from the foot of the bed for double cover,” Mathenge said.
After a while, the businessman said he started sweating profusely.
“I started sweating heavily but could not get out of bed because my body was very numb. I managed to get out of bed at 6am,” he revelead.
Mathenge said he was forced to take paracetamol which reduced the fever and numbness.
“The arm that was jabbed is still numb,” he said.
The Centre for Disease and Control says the side effects are normal and that they may be more intense after the second shot.
“These side effects are normal signs that your body is building protection and should go away within a few days,” CDC notes.
The Ministry of Health added: “Mild reactions go away within a few days on their own. Severe or long-lasting side effects are extremely rare.”
Health ministry acting director general Dr Patrick Amoth, who was the first Kenyan to take the vaccine on March 5, said he did not experience any effects as he encouraged more Kenyans to get the jab.
“I did not experience major side effects, apart from soreness (which lasted for 47 hours). I took no medication for the side effects as I expected them to be transient. Better take the vaccine when your turn comes. It is either you get the vaccine or Covid-19.”