Knocked Down Again: PLEASE don’t tell me I need a booster shot

My employer booked and organized the first vaccination back in July, which I received.  The school was supposed to organize the second in October, but the appointment was never made.  To get the numbers up and make it easier, the government set up public vaccination sites, the largest at Taipei’s Main Station.  I went there and got my second shot two days ago.

In July, I received AstraZeneca and was knocked down for four days.  Not the worst symptoms, but awful.  On Wednesday, it was Moderna which the CECC approves as a second shot for those with AZ as their first.  And just as before, I’ve been floored with symptoms.  No fever this time nor the worst symptoms (e.g. no shortness of breath, no signs of a heart attack like arm pain), but aches everywhere, chills, nausea and others for the last 48 hours.  I hope I can start going out by Sunday.



To increase the percent of people vaccinated and reduce outliers or wild cards, the CECC promised to let undocumented workers receive vaccinations without fear of arrest.  If people here are working and going around without health care coverage, there’s a strong chance of them spreading it, so this was a good idea.

Unfortunately, some genius hospital employee decided to turn in a Philippine woman without documentation who showed up for a vaccine, whereupon she was arrested.  Brilliant.  What do you think other undocumented workers are going to do now?  Show up, knowing that the promise will be broken?  Even if it wasn’t the CECC leadership that violated the promise, this will damage the trust and voluntary compliance we’ve seen thus far.

More below. . . .


No doubt everyone reading has heard about the naming of the new variant as “omicron”.  The Greek letter “nu” was skipped to avoid sounding like “new”, but reportedly the CCP pressured the WHO to avoid “xi” because it looks like the mass murderer’s name.

Nelson: Nothing nu here, WHO bows to China in naming omicron

Omicron is the name of the latest COVID variant — so designated by the World Health Organization, which has the august responsibility for selecting names for each newly discovered COVID form. The WHO has decided to use the Greek alphabet for the labeling sequence. In this era, where so many ethnicities and origins leap to claim offense at any perceived shadow on their identity, let us commend and thank all those of Greek extraction and connection for not objecting (at least thus far) to the association of their alphabet with COVID. In contemporary context, their reticence, even stoicism, borders on the heroic.

The 24 letters in the Greek alphabet should make variant naming automatic. But no. Omicron is the 15th letter, but it identifies the 13th variant. The sages at the WHO skipped the 13th letter, nu, because they thought we lesser mortals would get confused with “new” — although most of us can notice the difference in the spelling. Also, we’ve managed to perceive the difference between WHO and “who.” Nevertheless, nu has been denied a variant.

The skipping of the 14th letter was more problematic. The letter is transliterated as xi and, though pronounced differently, looks the same as Xi Jinping, the president of China.

If this is true, that Xi and the CCP are that butthurt about the use of xi, they didn’t think far ahead.  Omicron sounds a bit like the phrase “我滅共” (Wǒ miè gòng), which is Mandarin for “I destroy the communists”.  People here are having a field day with it.



Two irritations:

First, a Taiwanese scientist contracted the COVID-19 delta variant.  She went in public spaces for several days before reporting loss of smell and other symptoms.  It turned out she was bitten by two lab mice but didn’t bother to report it.  Anyone that inept shouldn’t have such a critical job.  After the reduction in cases since May’s outbreak, everyone thought New Year’s parties were back on the menu.  Now everyone might be shut in for the long weekend.

Second, only Palau, New Zealand, Indonesia, and Belize have thus far approved Taiwan’s Medigen vaccine which in phase 2 testing has an efficacy rate comparable to AZ, Moderna, BnT, Covaxin, or Sputnik, (all over 90%) and far better than Sinovac (51%) or Sinopharm (79%) from the PRC.  Phase 3 innoculations of Medigen have been completed in Taiwan and Paraguay, and blood samples will be taken in two weeks to determine its effectiveness.  The lack of approval by other countries is the only reason I wouldn’t have taken Medigen.  If (ugh) I need that booster shot, sure.


  1. garnetstar says

    I’m sorry to hear you were so ill! Hope you’re feeling better now. Sometimes those symptoms, when prolonged, seem to be as bad as actual pain.

    They are, unfortunately, saying that you must get a booster to be good against I Destroy the Communists. You might be able to try the Taiwanese shot next time.

  2. moarscienceplz says

    Hi Rhiannon,
    I also am sorry you had such a tough reaction to the vax. I’ve had 2 Phizer shots, and while the 1st only gave me a sore arm, the 2nd gave me chills and shaking so bad I had to miss a day of work. I work in retail, and I don’t want to let my coworkers down, so I think I’m going to hold off on getting my booster until after Christmas. I live in the SF Bay area, and my fellow citizens have been pretty good about following the health rules, so I don’t feel that I am putting myself or others in much Omicron danger by delaying for a couple of weeks. I do feel so bad for retail workers who live in American Dumbfukistan and are constantly having to balance getting a paycheck with bringing home a potential killer of themselves or their loved ones.
    “Omicron sounds a bit like the phrase “我滅共” (Wǒ miè gòng), which is Mandarin for “I destroy the communists”.” That is fucking hilarious! Thanks for sharing, Rhiannon!

  3. jrkrideau says

    Chen said she was “exposed to the pathogen” in mid-November while working at Academia Sinica’s Genomics Research Center, which houses a P3 (Biosafety Level-3) facility in Taipei’s Nangang District.

    So, effectively she is mad? This is horrifying.

  4. Jazzlet says

    Sorry you’ve had such a nasty reaction, I hoope you are feeling better now.

    I got boosted yesterday, along with a flu jab, I’m definitely ache-y today. Pfizer which is supposed to give a better result after initial AZ vaccination, which is what I had.

  5. lochaber says

    Sorry to hear you got hit pretty hard by the side effects.

    I’ve been pretty lucky, and haven’t really experienced any side effects up until the booster shot (Pfizer for first two doses, Johnson&Johnson booster), and even so it was pretty mild for me, mostly just really damned tired and kinda cold.

    For what it’s worth, most of my coworkers who had reactions to the vaccine, had their worst reaction to the booster, but it seemed to also be the briefest, usually one, maybe two days.

    Here’s to hoping that if you do experience side effects, they are short lived.

    And, hell, it’s still better than catching COVID…