“Circle, circle, dot, dot. Now I got my cootie shot.” You probably remember the saying from grade school when the boys tried to give you cooties, or you wanted to give the boys cooties.
No one wants the COVID cooties, and millions are being vaccinated against them daily. Since I've already been sick, I wasn’t in a huge rush to run right out and get vaccinated because I likely have some natural antibodies. I’ve only been vaccine eligible for a couple of weeks. A few close friends have been vaccinated, and they’re still alive, so it is time.
I registered through an online portal in my hometown and drove to the athletic center parking lot in Austin on the day of my appointment. The arrangement was impressively sleek and refined while moving people through the line in an efficient manner. Staff people were friendly and polite while checking personal identification, verifying records, and directing cars to appropriate lines so people could receive their vaccine.
I drove up, got my shot, and waited through the 15-minute required time for reactions before being released. All of this happened without leaving my car.
Circle, circle, dot, dot. Now I got my cootie shot.
Until I woke up the following day and the Fed announced that they were recommending pausing the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
One news report says:
“In a joint statement, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating clots in six women that occurred 6 to 13 days after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The clots were observed in the sinuses of the brain along with reduced platelet counts — making the usual treatment for blood clots, the blood thinner heparin, potentially “dangerous.”
I double-check my vaccine card and see that I received the Moderna vaccine. What a relief the center I registered for in Austin was issuing Moderna instead of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
I wonder if the clotting issue applies to the other vaccines. My curiosity is piqued because I have a blood clotting disorder for which I take an over-the-counter low-dose aspirin daily as prescribed by my doctor. And I am in the age group of the group of women identified as producing blood clots — age 18 to 48 according to one ABC News Report.
Let’s suppose and do some simple math. The above news report says approximately 7 million Johnson and Johnson vaccines have been administered. Let’s say seven women in the appropriate age demographic of the 7 million doses administered get blood clots, and one dies. That’s a 1 in one million chance. Easy math.
Those are good odds unless you’re me. Good thing I got the other vaccine because if I had received the Johnson and Johnson version I’d be going out of my mind about now, feeling a lot like a member of the Walking Dead.
The NY Times says: It could be that women are more likely to report side effects than men, said Dr. Sabra L. Klein, a professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Or, she added, women might be experiencing side effects to a greater degree. “We’re not sure which it is,” she said.
Still, weird things happen to me.
I’m not an overly superstitious person. If a black cat crossed my path on an Austin street on a fine Friday the 13th, I’d probably pet it and send it on its way. But weird stuff happens over and over again in my life.
On the occasion that we go out to eat, we’re the table that gets seated as the server goes on break, or gets forgotten about completely. Weird stuff just happens to us. So much so that we joke about all the things that only happen to us.
If I had the other vaccine, this could easily be one of those coincidences. As it is, after receiving the vaccine, I’ve mostly slept for a couple of days — a normal side effect. A nice side benefit is that I’ve been able to catch up on some sleep.
I don’t believe in coincidences. Things tend to happen for a reason. I am grateful the vaccine I was issued in Austin used Moderna instead of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, and it’s reminded me that life is short and can be over in an instant. Death doesn’t usually announce its coming.
Today, please pause and love those you hold dear. Tomorrow is not guaranteed and life can be over without notice. You can be healthy, or sick for a long time. When the sand stops running through the hourglass for your allotment of time on Earth, it just stops whether you are ready for it or not.
Slow down long enough to hold those you love and let them know you care. You never know what tomorrow holds.