Even though she had an adverse reaction, Rose Linseman doesn’t regret getting the COVID-19 vaccine.
Not even for a second.
Linseman received her second shot at the Bradley Centre mass immunization clinic July 7.
Her symptoms were immediate.
“I started feeling a little funny,” Linseman said.
She told clinic workers, who fetched a wheelchair and gave her some cookies.
A nurse then took charge of her five-month-old daughter Lily, while others stepped forward to help.
“I was really sweaty and hot and clammy,” she added. “I started talking a little funny.
“It was hard to find words.”
Onsite paramedics came to her aid. Linseman remembers EMS worker “Big Pete” taking care of her.
Soon, an ambulance arrived and she was whisked away to the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, where she was monitored for the next 24 hours.
At one point during the ordeal, Linseman’s blood pressure spiked and her heartbeat dropped to 33 beats a minute.
Linseman, who was an extreme athlete in her youth, has two medical conditions. One is an autoimmune disorder; the other is a neurological condition that affects her heart rate.
The 37-year-old health-conscious entrepreneur, owner of RAD Studio and Eco-Store in downtown Chatham, was well aware of the vaccine’s risk.
But she didn’t let fear stop her.
Under the care of a Windsor immunologist for some time, the mother of two consulted with her doctor before deciding to get the shot.
Aside from the normal reaction of a sore arm and fatigue, she did not have a reaction the first time around.
Linseman posted her vaccine experience on Facebook to explain why she was absent from social media but she doesn’t want her story to deter others.
Instead she wants to encourage people to get the shot despite the risk.
“My fear in talking about this, is that I don’t want to discourage people from getting the shot,” she said.
“I think the shot is very important because a lot more can happen if you get COVID.”
She advises families who get the vaccine to space their shots between members, so they don’t possibly feel ill at the same time.
Linseman also advises those getting the vaccine to stay longer when they receive the shot if they feel unwell, just to be sure.
She stressed getting the vaccine is worth the “minute risk,” and she has no regrets.
“If I have to spend a couple days in the hospital to keep others safe and help save a life, so be it.”
And while she got sick from getting the vaccine, Linseman believes she would be in far worse shape if she came down with the virus.
She didn’t feel afraid at any time during the experience, calling the workers at the Bradley Centre “exceptional.”
As of July 10, a total of 36 adverse reactions have occurred in Chatham-Kent out of more than 100,000 doses.
All adverse reactions must be reported to the Medical Officer of Health.
Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chatham Voice