I Was Surprised to Qualify for the COVID-19 Booster

Michelle Gonzaba avatar

by Michelle Gonzaba |

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I received two doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, one in April and the other in May. With my limited medical and scientific knowledge, I thought those two shots would be the only ones I’d need for the foreseeable future, but I was wrong; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration amended its authorization to allow for a single booster shot.

Getting the vaccine earlier this year was easy and stress-free, and the vaccination site was well organized and welcoming. I did experience some side effects, including flu-like symptoms, body aches, and a sore arm. Nevertheless, I am glad I got the shots.

I’ve been in remission with myasthenia gravis (MG) for about five years. I’m not taking any medications for it, and I’m not experiencing any symptoms, either. Because I don’t feel the physical effects of MG in my day-to-day life, I sometimes forget it still lives within my body.

So, because I am feeling so well, I didn’t think I would qualify for the COVID-19 booster.

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But my doctor strongly recommended I get it. The reasoning was that nothing could take away my MG, so I would always be considered high risk. Just because I am in remission doesn’t mean I am free of MG.

I received the booster shot last week. When I was at the same place in April, there were hundreds of cars. This time, I saw only a few. Things were quite different. But one thing that wasn’t different was the efficiency of the staff and the volunteers. They were knowledgeable and competent, yet kind and relaxed.

The booster shot was the same as it was last time: quick, a little painful, and mostly forgettable. The side effects, however, were a little bit stronger than before.

The day after my shot, I felt exhausted. I’m not one for taking naps, but I felt like I could have slept the day away. I expected some arm pain, but it felt like my right arm was trying to detach itself from my body. These effects lasted only 24 hours, and I felt like a new person the following day. Despite the side effects, I would definitely do it again.

Making the call about the booster shot also reinforced an important point for me: Although I don’t feel like I’m high risk, I am and always will be. I’m no longer taking 10 pills a day, but that doesn’t mean MG is out of my life. I must remember to always make decisions based on what I have, not on how I feel physically. MG should always be at the forefront of all of my health decisions, whether I feel any weakness or not.


Myasthenia Gravis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.


Michael P Ivory avatar

Michael P Ivory

I was diagnosed with MG in July of this year. My weight went from 185 lbs to a low of 163 lbs. taking Pyridostigmine & Mycophenolate. Couldn't gain weight no matter what I did or eat. Would it be possible to take this off line to discuss.

Michelle Gonzaba avatar

Michelle Gonzaba

Hi Michael! Thank you for reading and commenting. I don't have any experience with struggling to gain weight, but some people on the MG forums do. If you haven't visited them yet, I really recommend the Myasthenia Gravis Forums. They are a great place to see how others handle our disease.

Jonathan D AUTORE avatar

Jonathan D AUTORE

Thanks for your comments about COVID SHOTS and MYASTHENIA GRAVIS. My first symptoms were ocular MG and no doctors in 8 long months could diagnose my 8 or 9 MG symptoms. Finally a St. Joseph Hospital nurse recognized all my symptoms on 3-24-2020 and got me tested and treated. I still take over 5500 MGs of medications daily .... and 11-27-2021 is my one year anniversary of escaping the last of 5 hospitals. I had MODERNA shots in April and May .... so I will get the booster ... as I never want to fall out of MG REMISSION ..... THANKS .....


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