I have generally been a strong proponent of vaccines and get my flu shot every year. Knock on wood, flu has not been a visitor at my house for many decades and I would like to keep it that way.
That said, when the vaccines came out, like many of you the first thing I thought was, “What will the COVID vaccine do to my Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS)?”
We have all tried so many things to relieve our burning, and some may have helped a bit, but we also discovered additional triggers and things that caused flares, and so we may have become just a little more wary than our neighbors. Not because we don’t trust science, and not because we have hard held beliefs for or against vaccinations, but simply because we don’t want to hurt more.
Because I value being with my family and that new grandbaby, and seeing my friends in the future more than I fear a flare, I signed up for the COVID vaccination everywhere I could.
On March 1, the call came that I could get a first dose shot of Moderna and I ran across town to get it. Other than a sore arm for a day or so (about the level of a flu shot, BTW), there was nothing. No flare, no increase in burning, no response at all for my burning mouth pain.
I was encouraged, but had read stories of bigger reactions to the second shot, so I kept my expectations realistic and on March 29, CVS opened up to second doses and I pounced on one.
As I stood in the fairly short line to get vaccinated, I saw grown men rolling down their sleeves as they departed, with tears in their eyes and smiles on their faces. I don’t think they realized how much stress they had been carrying and now at least part of it was lifted. I got my shot, waited 15 minutes to make sure there was no immediate reaction, and drove home.
I monitored myself closely and the next day, although my arm was sore there were no other side effects and so I took my mother to a doctor appointment and the only thing I noticed was a lack of appetite. No change in BMS at all.
By the evening, things were changing and I started to run a fever (100.5) and I felt a few chills and body aches. I took Tylenol as instructed, drank some chamomile tea, and prepared for a feverish night. There was a bit of tossing and turning, sweating as the fever broke, and I woke feeling tired and still a bit achy. I checked and a low grade fever (99.6) was hanging on, but I watched it go down to normal by about lunch time. The body aches were a little slower to dissipate, but I felt good enough to do some house cleaning!
NO CHANGE IN BMS. NONE.
This was my experience, and I hope it helps to reassure you. It is true that it is just one person talking. It may not change your mind if you have decided not to vaccinate. But if you are hesitating solely because you are afraid it might make you burn more, I just had to tell you that it did not affect my burning in any way.
Good luck out there, and regardless of what you decide to do about vaccination, please keep distancing, masking up, and practicing good hygiene for all of our sake. Mutations and variants are the next big concern and you don’t want to be part of the problem.