80 Anita

Anita (64 yrs)

Dose 1: Pfizer-BioNTech 30th August 2021 FE8163

Fit and healthy for my age (63 when vaxed). Keen horsewoman – have 5 horses and (used to) take part in equestrian events and a lifestyle block to look after, so have always been very active and never had any health issues or concerns in the past.)

Had my first jab at the Vaccination Centre on Quay St, Whakatane at 11am on 30 August 2021. At no time was I told that there were any risks with having this injection, other than I was asked if I had ever had an allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past as that might prove an issue.

After the injection I stood up to go to the observation area and found that I had pins and needles in both my feet, which I felt was very strange but didn’t mention it. Within a few minutes after taking a seat in the observation area I started to have heart palpitations and a feeling of extreme dizziness. My chest started to feel tight and I could almost hear my heart pounding. I then started to sweat and felt faint. I called the nurse over and she asked me if I was okay. I told her what I was experiencing and her and another nurse assisted me to move to an adjacent room where I could lie down.

My blood pressure was taken and found to be very high (very unusual for me). I stayed in this room for a further 40 mins until my palpitations had slowed down and my blood pressure reading had gone down to an acceptable level and then they said I was free to go. One of the nurses suggested that I might be wise to have my second jab at the hospital in case I had a similar reaction, as the second jab usually caused a more severe reaction if you were prone to that!

I spent the next few days having the expected sore arm and body aches and pains but otherwise felt okay. After about 10 days or so I started experiencing more frequent chest pain and odd heart flutters and difficulty sleeping due to hot flushes so booked an appointment at my GP (16 Sept). I was fully expecting my GP to have been told about my reaction in the vaccination centre but there was nothing at all on my record. I explained what had happened to my GP and she said that it was very important that I still have the second jab as it was likely that if I got Covid it would probably have a worse effect on me, given my reaction to the jab. She suggested that in advance of the next injection they could prescribe beta blockers to lessen the chance of having heart palpitations and also suggested I have it done at the surgery once they got approval to give vaccinations. She took my blood pressure and found that it was still quite a lot higher than is normal for me, so I was sent home with a blood pressure monitor to keep track of the readings and told to go back in a week or so. The readings from the BP monitor seemed to be very erratic – sometimes near normal and sometimes high – my pulse rate was also recorded on the monitor and showed to be consistently low 45-60. I decided to submit a report to CARM about my adverse reaction – no follow up from them at all.

I took the readings back to the doctor about 3 weeks later and as I was still experiencing chest pain and palpitations, they decided to do an ECG – which was normal so I was sent away again and they booked me an appointment for my second shot as that seemed to be the most important thing on their minds.

A few days later while out on a walk with a friend, I had real difficulty breathing and had to stop for a while. We carried on but I really struggled. This was the first time I had experienced real trouble breathing and it was quite frightening. After that I seemed to be okay unless I did anything mildly aerobic and then I would experience breathlessness and high heart rates. The pain in my chest was also getting worse so I cancelled the appointment for my second jab and made another appointment to see the doctor instead (14 December) – she listened to my heart and sent me for another ECG, also did a blood test which included D-Dimer – said she would let me have the results later that day and if anything came up I could be referred to a cardiac specialist at the hospital. I made it quite clear that all of this has only happened since having the vaccine and she said that although it is very rare, she did have another patient that was experiencing similar symptoms. All results came back normal but the doctor suggested that I keep records of my heart rate so that they could have a better idea of what was going on. She also noticed at this appointment that my left arm had a rash and I told her it was very itchy – she diagnosed Shingles and prescribed some ointment to help with the itchiness. I asked about getting an exemption and was told these were very difficult to obtain and I would likely be turned down.

I had a 24 holter monitor fitted and eventually managed to get a referral to a Cardiologist 15 months later and gave him 12 months’ worth of data I had collected from my Apple watch showing heart rate readings varying from 40 up to 197. He didn’t even look at the information I had supplied and said it couldn’t possibly be the vaccine causing this. His theory about my initial reaction at the vaccination centre was that it must have been a panic attack/anxiety about having the jab! He told me to just ignore any heart rate readings from my watch as it couldn’t be relied upon and just get on with life. He was very dismissive and even though the Holter Monitor readings showed ectopic spikes as well as unusually low readings he didn’t consider them to be serious. I wanted to get a second opinion but found it impossible to get a referral. I was also declined by ACC as no firm diagnosis, so been in stalemate ever since.

Kind regards