WNLP’s Mike Kellems: 2nd round of vaccine was no picnic, but still worth it


Mike Kellems receives the first of his two COVID-19 vaccines in January. (WNLP photo)

Column by WNLP’s Mike Kellems
I thought this might be a good opportunity to update WNLP’s readers on my progress following my second COVID-19 vaccine shot in February.

Mike Kellems

You might recall that back in January, because I am a police officer/first reponder, I shared my experience of receiving my first vaccination, which went very well. That was on Jan. 13. and a few days later I packed my bags and headed south for warmer parts.

For the past few years I’ve made my way to Florida to spend time with friends who have taken the term “snow bird” to a new level. In addition to that, there is a small village of La Porte folks all in the same area and we’ve managed to have a great reunion of sorts on the sunny Gulf Coast.
When I arrived in the Sunshine State this year, it lived up to its name. The weather was good, sunny and 75 every day. Unfortunately I wasn’t feeling it. I was often tired, very unmotivated and feeling “foggy” much of the time. I also noticed that the food I was eating didn’t taste very good, which was unusual because I’d eaten at all of the places before and always enjoyed the fare.
After a week of fun in the sun, I headed home. As soon as I arrived I headed downstairs to start a load of laundry. It was during the rinse cycle, as I was pouring the cap full of Downey, that I noticed I couldn’t smell what is normally very fragrant. I gave the jug a couple of very close sniffs — and nothing. Not one bit of “springtime freshness”!
Then it hit me … I had the ‘vid!
Now, how lucky can one fella be? Getting the Moderna vaccine, with its 85 percent effectiveness rating, hopefully would have kept me from getting the virus. However, it didn’t.
Seriously, with luck like this, I should spend more time at the casino!
I was tested the following day and learned within 48 hours that I was positive. I had already self-quarantined as one of my biggest fears was spreading the virus. Seriously, for five days, I didn’t go anywhere, not even to my beloved Indiana Deli! I hadn’t stayed home for more than a day since the fifth grade, when I broke my leg skiing on the bunny hill at Ski Valley ( going up the hill, no less! ) Even tougher was calling my good friends in Florida to let them know I was probably a walking petrie dish during my visit.
My symptoms remained mild and the most nagging of them was loss of taste and smell, along with being lethargic all the time. I didn’t sleep much, but I didn’t do much, either.
On Feb. 10, I was scheduled to receive the second vaccine. I read a lot on the subject and sought the advice of healthcare workers as I researched the perils of getting the second shot following a battle with the virus. Based on what I learned, it did not look like I faced any jeopardy.
 I arrived at Franciscan Hospital at the appointed hour and, just as with the first shot, I found that everyone there was helpful, friendly, and they actually enjoyed my sense of humor — or at least they acted like they did!
Now this next part, I share with you all because transparency is important. Much like I had read and learned, the 24 hours following the second shot were not pretty; I didn’t sleep at all, tossed and turned all night with chills and low-grade fever. The next day, I felt like I’d been run over by a truck — sore all over and all of my joints were full of aches.
But the following day, it was like someone flipped a switch; I felt fine.
Even though I make light of the experience, I’m still good with my decision to get the vaccine. It’s possible that the first dose kept the symptoms from being worse than what they were. I still have zero sense of smell and only a little sense of taste, but other than that I’m feeling well.
Bottom line: I encourage anyone still considering whether they should get the vaccine to do the research, talk with healthcare providers, and make the decision that is in your, and in other individuals’, best interest.

6 Responses to “WNLP’s Mike Kellems: 2nd round of vaccine was no picnic, but still worth it”

  1. leary

    Mar 03. 2021

    ill pass on it now thanks

    Reply to this comment
    • Julie Kessler

      Mar 03. 2021

      I enjoy your writings, Mike! I’m sorry you had a harder time than a lot of folks. I had no complaints after the first and second vaccinations; my husband had an achy arm for 24 hours. Your advice is so good, to ask your healthcare provider about your own situation. Do keep sharing your observations on various topics!

      Reply to this comment
    • Tim

      Mar 04. 2021

      For anyone that would pass on a vaccine, I would just make sure your affairs are in order. Remember there are well over 1/2 million who can’t voice their support of it.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Karen Kleist

    Mar 03. 2021

    After my first shot I had a 2-week headache, then lost taste & smell. Ran for a test and was negative. Found out this can be a common side effect. After 2nd dose, a day of chills but no fever. Slight aches & pains but I have those anyway. Being able to be vaccinated is worth whatever side effects you get. Thanks for sharing, Mike.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Anita Way

    Mar 03. 2021

    You hear many stories and wonder if the person relating their experience is someone you know. This affects everyone in a different way and taking it all into consideration will help us look at which direction to turn is beneficial. Thank you, Mike, for sharing and caring!

    Reply to this comment
  4. sam

    Mar 04. 2021

    Sorry to hear that you have been sick with covid. Glad to hear that you are on the mend. I also think that getting that 1st Moderna Vaccination helped you from experiencing much worse symptoms. Just when we are rounding a bend in the covid war, I am so appalled by the actions of the governors in the states of Texas and Louisiana. I can’t believe they are opening their states up and abandoning any precautionary measures for preventing this deadly virus from spreading. Texas is the ony state that has tested positive for all the known variants. I fear that lifting these precautions too soon will cause a lot of harm to its citizens, especially the poor, elderly, and people with pre-existing health problems. So far we have lost 516,00 people from coronavirus. Now we could also stand to lose the hard-earned ground the we have gained recently as a nation. More than 42,000 Texans have died from coronavirus, the third most deaths in the country behind California and New York. According to the CDC, just over 13% of Texans have received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine. I just can’t see not taking common sense and scientifically proven measures-washing your hands, wearing a face covering, avoiding crowded and congregated places so we can stamp out this awful, debiltating, and deadly virus. Now is not the time to release all restrictions and let our guard down. I fear this will cause another, possibly more deadly wave of the contagion just when we are making progress in vaccinating people and victory is within sight.

    Reply to this comment

Leave a Reply