I was a fit and healthy process worker in the food industry before the COVID vaccination. I did have a colon polyp and a sinus problem, however, but both were resolved with surgery. I love photography, and I frequently took long walks with my camera gear in search of wildlife and landscapes to photograph.
My last workplace told unvaccinated staff that they must be fully vaccinated by the 31st of January 2022, or they would be sacked.
My wife and I are in no way anti-vaccinations, but we did not like this vaccination. My wife has a science background, and she was sceptical of the COVID vaccine from the start. She failed to see how something so rushed could be a good thing. As for me, I was happy to take my chances with COVID.
But our jobs were in jeopardy if we refused the vaccination, so we decided one of us would have to take it. My wife asked her employer if she could wait for the Novavax vaccine, but her employer refused. She took long service leave from November 2021 until January 2022, by which time she had exhausted all her leave entitlements. Consequently, she lost her job of 10 years in the health services field.
I got my first and only AstraZeneca vaccination in my left arm on Thursday, the 4th of November 2021 at my usual GP’s clinic. I felt nauseated almost immediately. I grew feverish, my head hurt, and I felt ill for the entire weekend.
On Sunday the 7th of November, I felt pins and needles, a burning pain, and a strange numbness below my waist. It worsened that night, and it was hard to get my legs comfortable. I felt as if a snake was crawling under my skin. I returned to work the next day, Monday. These sensations moved from my legs to my eyes, lips, and scalp over the next two weeks. My scalp constantly itched, and I shaved off my long hair to relieve the irritation.
My wife noticed my lips twitching on the 11th of November. My employer notified me that unless I was fully vaccinated by the 24th of November, I would be unable to come into work. A manager called me into his office. He told me that most of the staff were double vaccinated and that some had even had their third, and I still had not had my second. He asked me when I intended to get it. I told him I had had a reaction to the first vaccine and he said, “Look at me. I have had three vaccinations and I’m fine”. “I tell you,” I said, “I did have a reaction and my clinic advised me to get the second vaccination eight weeks after the first.” He had no time to reply because we were interrupted by a team leader, and I left his office.
I worked my final day on the 24th of November and received my official termination letter on the 23rd of March, 2022. I was without pay all that time.
On the 9th of December, I experienced a very sharp pain in my chest. It felt like an electrical current shooting from my right foot to my chest. My right foot remains numb to this day.
I went to my GP clinic on the 22nd of December. I usually see one of two GPs, but my main GP was on holiday, so I saw the other one. I told him what had happened to me after the vaccination. He noticed my left eye twitching and that it was moving faster than my right eye. He examined me and said that everything seemed fine. To be sure, though, he referred me for a spinal CT scan. He said my problems were anxiety related. I said, “Well, I think it was the vaccine that caused this.” He didn’t like this statement at all. As soon as he had written the referral, he told me to leave his office immediately because he had other patients waiting to see him.
I left feeling angry. I did not want to return to the clinic, but I knew I would have to deal with it again because it had all my medical records.
I needed a second opinion.
On the recommendation of a friend, I saw a new GP on the 30th of December. He told me that a nerve conduction test would answer all my questions. He referred me to a neurologist who I never saw because I decided to wait for my GP to return from holidays. Meanwhile, I searched for neurologists in Melbourne, but they were all booked out until May 2022, so I found a Ballarat neurologist.
On the 7th of January 2022, I saw my regular GP and he told me my spinal CT results were normal. I asked him what might be causing the burning sensation in my legs and body, my muscle twitching, pins and needles, and numbness, and why these occurred only after the vaccination. He avoided eye contact and said he did not know. I told him I was concerned my symptoms resembled Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS) and asked him for a referral to the Ballarat neurologist. I also asked him for something to help me sleep. The crawling sensations in my legs woke me up at night and I could not get back to sleep. I also felt as if something was slithering around in the bed. He prescribed sleeping tablets but they didn’t help much.
I saw the neurologist in Ballarat on the 19th of January. He eliminated Guillain Barre Syndrome on the first visit. He said that if I had GBS, I would be unable to walk. He told me not to worry about GBS. He referred me for a spinal MRI, which I had on the 12th of February, and the results were normal.
On the 2nd of March, I went to my GP and told him that the burning sensation, electric pulses, stomach cramps, and all-over body tingling are always there. I said that my symptoms were similar to those of Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) because some of my family have it, and they treat it with colchicine. I told him the vaccine probably triggered it. He said there is a test for FMF but he would immediately give me a medication normally given for this condition and I was to take it for two weeks. He said that although I had not been formally diagnosed with FMF, that the medication has no side effects. He said taking it was fine and that we would see if it helped. I took the meds for two weeks, but my symptoms remained.
I lost confidence in my GP. He and the other GPs I saw, had no incentive to investigate further. I think they knew if they investigated further, they not only risked losing their jobs, but they also might suspect my problems are vaccine related. In fact, the doctors made things worse by telling me it was all in my brain. I was not only physically sick, but they also tried to make me feel sick mentally. It did not work.
So, I Googled and searched to find answers for myself. I found the doctor who helped me with my polyp in 2018 and saw him three times on the 12th, 20th, and 26th of March. I explained everything to him, and he requested my medical file be transferred to his clinic.
He believed my symptoms resulted from depression, anxiety, and fear and he dealt with them accordingly. I accepted this approach, though I was unconvinced because I know many doctors tell their patients the same thing.
Over three visits, we discussed my medical history, ways to help me return to work, and a medical exemption for any more COVID vaccinations, something which he never gave me. He also ordered a brain MRI.
I returned to my neurologist in Ballarat on the 29th of April. He referred me to John Fawkner Hospital for a brain MRI. I had the MRI on the 19th of May, and the results were normal.
I called my GP to discuss the outcome of the MRI and what to do next. He suggested I take the Novavax vaccine. I went to my local chemist, and he said that he needed my GP’s written permission before I could receive a vaccine that was different to my original AstraZeneca vaccine.
I called my GP again and he told me he would risk his job if he gave me an exemption, a change of vaccine document, or wrote anything negative about the vaccine. He said if he gave me a certificate for a change of vaccine, it would also mean he had to acknowledge I had a problem with the first vaccine. He said, “Do you want me to lose my job?” He then said that if he gave me an exemption for the second vaccine, he would be admitting that the first vaccine had injured me! I could not believe my ears. I never saw him again. I feel I cannot trust any doctor now.
On the 29th of June, I went for a nerve conduction test at the same clinic in Ballarat. The doctor said she had seen many people with neurological issues post-vaccination. She could not find anything unusual with my nerve conduction test, but she said this did not mean nothing was wrong. She said it is possible that some of my very tiny nerves are damaged and the test did not pick this up. She told me to be patient and that maybe in a few years we might find out what happened to all the vaccine injured. “One day,” she said, “we will know the truth.”
I was unemployed for several months after I lost my job. It was hard finding work because most places required the vaccinations, but I managed to find a little work building fences and caravans.
I saw a naturopath in August, and she gave me vitamins and supplements. They helped reduce, but not entirely remove, the burning sensation that still affects my entire body.
My upper body still burns, and I continue to have a strange numbness and rubbery feeling in my right foot. My lips still twitch.
I also have a weird reaction when I cut something straight from the fridge. I have to wear gloves or my skin burns. Nothing like this happened before I had the vaccination.
I reported my adverse event to the TGA on the 27th of December 2021 and received an automated response and nothing more since.
I share my story because the vaccine injured have rights. It hurts when we are ignored and told we are imagining things and are conspiracy theorists. I want our stories to be recognised and to be used as historical documents. The more people who come forward, the more it will encourage others to come forward.
I have been shocked and appalled at how the government has pushed these vaccines on people. I come from Jordan where no one was coerced to get vaccinated. Countries in the Middle East are often thought to lack democracy and human rights. Yet no one was told that they would lose their job if they did not get vaccinated. People took responsibility for their own health. If you die, it is your problem, so to speak.
In contrast, the Australian government treated us like animals. Therefore, I no longer trust the government and the media. I no longer trust doctors. I no longer even have a regular GP.