Friends, especially my worry warts out there, gather round. Don’t worry, this is a safe place free from hyperbolic language, fear-mongering and scary statistics. I did it, I got the AstraZeneca vaccine, and it was the best choice I’ve made this year. Here’s why I think it’ll be the same for you!

First off, I’m a huge hypochondriac, and you might be too if you’re worrying unnecessarily about getting the vaccine.

Hypochondriacs are people who worry abnormally about their health (moreso than the average person) and can hype themselves up into believing their symptoms are worse than they are, most of the time thinking they can lead to an untimely end.

The number of times I’ve been completely stressed and consumed by a small affliction is innumerable, and I’ve made myself look like a proper clown in front of many a doctor.

Thankfully, my current doctor understands that I get paranoid over the little things, and tells me very gently that I’m not going to die, which is often what I’m really after.

The last thing you should show a hypochondriac is a list of symptoms or statistics, because the placebo is hella real. Tell someone with an unnatural amount of worry within them that there’s a rare chance of fatality, and suddenly they’ve already decided that they are that unlucky death statistic. Not very fun.

But here’s why you shouldn’t be worried about AstraZeneca, like, at all:

You’re Not Going To Die

That’s the base of it all. Focus on those words, because they’re true. AstraZeneca and Pfizer both have side effects, but you need to get the most readily available one to you so that we can combat the current outbreak (which is absolutely more fatal).

Here are some stats (I know I said they’re scary but bear with me) that actually comforted me a HEAP before my vaccine.

Unfortunately, many people believe that AZ is bad and Pfizer is good, because of the very very very rare blood clotting side effect that AZ can give people.

Here’s the thing though, Aussies under 50 have a one in 35,000 chance of getting this blood clot. Sure, you may think that’s a risk I don’t want to take, but that’s the chance of blood clotting, not of death.

According to infectious diseases expert Dr Nick Coatsworth, approximately 50 Aussies get blood clots every day from a whole bunch of things, and they’re extremely easy to treat if you look out for the symptoms, which no doubt you will if you’re super vigilant about health.

The risk of death is less than one in one million, and the treatment for a blood clot is highly, highly effective. And the thing is, they’re super easy to treat, so do not fret. In the small chance that you get one, your GP or the emergency department can handle it fast.

Here’s a detailed explainer on detection and treatment to ease your woes.

The Jab Is Easy Peasy

There’s absolutely nothing to worry about the jab itself either, it’s super painless and super quick.

With me, I booked in, had the jab (which didn’t hurt) and went home just feeling very tired and sleepy. I had plenty of water beforehand, which is important, and kept up the water, with regular panadol.

The days after, I was very sleepy, very groggy and felt like I was living through the worst hangover of my life. Also, the splitting headache did not do any favours. I basically slept in three different intervals, only waking to have some panadol and water.

Decreased appetite is also normal, so when I finally left my bed at 7pm, I ordered some heavenly pho that saved my damn life, and inhaled it.

I got better day by day, but only gradually. It’s a slow process, and everyone is different, but it’s something that most everyone goes through after the jab.

I reached out on Insta, asking about peoples experiences with side effects, and was comforted by heaps of different tips and self-care tactics. Panadol, Gatorade, water, keeping your legs raised, eating dry foods, not pushing your body to do exercise or lifting, and taking time off work to rest aplenty were some of the super helpful tips I received.

Because of all the help I got, I wanted to return the favour and help others out as well.

Sure the side effects can be rough, but only for a couple of days, and you’ll definitely feel better knowing you’ve made progress towards being fully immunised against COVID-19, which is much more fatal, especially in its current variant.

“For young people, their risk of dying from COVID is anywhere between one in 100 and one in 10,000,” Dr Nick Coatsworth said.

“And if you’re a young person, that is not a dice you want to be rolling.”

If that doesn’t convince you to get jabbed, I don’t know what will.

Hypochondriacs, if you can, go and book your next jab appointment so we can get out of this mess. You’ll be fine, I promise. We’ve got this!

All adult Aussies (yep, even if those of us under 40) are currently able to get the safe and effective AstraZeneca vaccine through a GP. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor to see if it’s right for you.

Alternatively, you can triple-check to see if you’re eligible for the Pfizer vaccine here.

The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.

Image: Getty Images / SOPA Images