HUMOR

Long-Term COVID Vaccine Side Effects That Didn’t Quite Fit in the Fine Print

A must-read supplement to that after-vax handout — that you didn’t even glance at once in the entire 15-minute waiting period.

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Respiratory/ENT:

  • Watery eyes and/or blurred vision. Commonly known as tears of relief.
  • Dry mouth — from repeatedly describing your second-shot symptoms to anyone who will listen.
  • Ringing in the ears of everyone listening to you repeatedly describing your second-shot symptoms.
  • Cough, headache, or congestion that is no longer accompanied by panicked WebMD queries of “COVID vs. allergies.”
  • Abnormal swelling of the head. Current reported cases limited solely to insufferable recipients of the Pfizer vaccine. Incidence highest among bros.

Gastrointestinal:

  • Loss of appetite when you realize swimsuit season is actually happening this year.
  • Increased appetite when you realize it’s already too late and you’re screwed.
  • Chills, coldness, and/or numbness in the extremities. (Not really. Just something to cite when everyone asks why you aren’t wearing a swimsuit this summer.)
  • Changes in taste — of food made by real chefs and served on actual restaurant plates, instead of that gross banana-sourdough concoction you kept attempting.
  • Stomach pain — after trying to fit back into your skinny jeans. Resumption of sweatpants strongly recommended, per guidelines recently released by Gen Z.

Dermatological:

  • Rare skin rash, commonly known as sunburn, occurring on lower half of the face. Area should see improvement with renewed application of sunscreen … and lipstick and foundation and mouthwash and teeth whitening. Or just another mask.
  • Hair loss — in the form of that long-overdue cut. Simultaneous and often spontaneous changes in color, usually redness or bright yellowing, have also been reported. Etiology suspected to be shock brought on by single strand of gray.

Sexual:

  • Increased libido. Avoid operating dating apps for at least 2 weeks following injection. Judgment is likely to be impaired due to even higher than usual levels of desperateness.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat at the anticipated resumption of that dreaded first Tinder date. Contraindications include alcohol and Xanax due to potential for overdose in attempt to function as a normal human being in normal society again. Caution especially advised during accidental interactions with Pfizer bros.

Neurological:

  • Muscle weakness in the extremities. 95% of reports occurred 5–10 minutes after arriving at newly reopened gyms and subsided upon immediately turning around and exiting same.
  • Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fatigue after spinning from one social activity to another one — right away again the very next month.

Psychiatric:

  • Mania, primarily exhibited in the feverish making of plans to see all the friends and do all the things ASAP. Consider pacing yourself. You never had that many friends in the first place, and half of them moved to the suburbs during lockdown.
  • Insomnia as you contemplate your decimated social circle. And your decimated social skills.
  • Nightmares — which have been reported erroneously. Those are just actual memories of the past year. Or conversations with your anti-vax aunt.
  • Delusions and confusion, which have also been misdiagnosed. You are not hallucinating. You really are doing normal stuff again.
  • Death … after a nice, long life that wasn’t fucked by COVID.

If any of these side effects persist for longer than 4 months, see your doctor … for that annual physical and Pap smear and colonoscopy and mammogram and prostate exam that you skipped during the pandemic. And then head over to the dentist.

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Andrea Bianchi

Andrea Bianchi

Andrea Bianchi lives in Chicago. Her humor has appeared on McSweeney's and Points in Case.