Various rumors swirling around 'painful' corona vaccination


Does it hurt?

A global pandemic rages. The COVID-19 death toll – 2.35 million worldwide, 6,600-plus in Japan – is only part of the story. The medical, economic, social and psychological impact is beyond measure and likely to linger for years. Still, the first barrier has been breached. Vaccines a year in development are at last being rolled out, belatedly in Japan but due to begin this month, medical workers being first in line. Next: senior citizens 65 and over, beginning in April. Then, finally, the population at large. There’s hope. The worst may be over.

Hope, and fear. Does it hurt? It’s a long, rather thick needle the process requires. It doesn’t look painless. 

Relax, says Weekly Playboy (Feb 22).

The story behind the long needle is this. There are two types of injections: intramuscular and subcutaneous. An intramuscular injection uses a long needle to deliver medication deep into the muscles, allowing it to be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. A subcutaneous (literally “under the skin”) injection delivers the medication into the tissue layer between skin and muscle. A short needle will do – but absorption into the bloodstream takes longer.

Vaccines developed in Japan, Weekly Playboy explains, are generally injected subcutaneously with a needle 1.3 cm in length. The three coronavirus vaccines at issue here are imports, their developers Pfizer-BioNtech (U.S.-Germany), Moderna (U.S.) and Oxford-AstraZeneca (UK). They are injected intramuscularly. The needle must be 2.5 cm long.

The Japanese aren’t used to it – at least not for routine vaccinations, though sufferers of certain illnesses like hepatitis-B will be familiar with it. To uninitiated Japanese eyes, it looks frighteningly long. It looks, in short, like it will hurt.

The internet bristles with confirmation that it does. The internet bristles with confirmation and denial of just about anything. Fear spreads more easily than most emotions. Is it well grounded?

To find out, Weekly Playboy sent a reporter, who it names only as “Koyama,” to a Tokyo clinic for direct intramuscular confirmation.

We’re not told what if anything he’s injected with – presumably not the coronavirus vaccine, which isn’t available yet. “Relax,” says the doctor, brandishing the needle. Koyama cringes. It really is long – thick too, he (or she) thinks. Koyama breaks out in a sweat. Really, making your way in the world as a reporter involves some pretty bumpy traveling.

The injection is done at the point where the shoulder meets the arm – a zone rich in muscles and therefore suitable. “Relax,” says the doctor again. The needle enters slowly, deep, deeper. Then – it’s over. The needle is out before Koyama is even aware of it. The entire procedure has take all of five seconds. Did it hurt? Hardly at all. Over the next two or three days there was a bit of swelling, a slight ache, a trifle of numbness. That’s all. Imagine the relief.

It’s not guaranteed to always go that smoothly. Most vulnerable, the magazine hears from its medical sources, are those over 65 – women especially – whose muscles in the region in question have softened. In that case it can be painful, at worst debilitatingly so for an unspecified time. Doctors and nurses will have to hone their judgment over the next two months. An alternative, when appropriate, is a thigh injection.

All in all, however, Weekly Playboy declares the fears overblown. Let hope prevail.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

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Oh so Weekly Playboy recommends the vaccine as well.

Big Pharma is pulling out the heavy hitting experts now.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

I got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Feb. 8.

My arm hurt a lot for two days, not as much yesterday, and less again today, although my arm is still sore.

Am I sorry I got the vaccine? Absolutely not.

5 ( +11 / -6 )

My arm hurt a lot for two days, not as much yesterday, and less again today, although my arm is still sore.

Bit like the flu jab. Anyway, good on you and looking forward to get the vaccine (or one of them, at any rate) myself.

Did you get it here in Japan, 1glenn?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I got my first dose at Disneyland, in Anaheim. More and more places are now doing vaccinations. Our local pharmacy started doing them Feb. 11, and our physician's office started doing them this week. Reports are that the US has surpassed 2 million vaccinations a day, which, IMO, is fantastic. Looks to me like Biden is doing a good job at sorting out the mess that Trump left us in.

Like just about everyone, I am so, so looking forward to returning to normal......when it is safe to do so. A neighbor died a few weeks ago. He had been hospitalized, in a coma and intubated, last March. He was released and went back to work, but he never fully recovered, and his lungs slowly stopped working. They said that he died from a lack of oxygen. Just one out of almost half a million. One is too many.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

To be honest, my reaction to the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine was worse than any flu shot I have ever gotten, and I get one every year. Still, it was bearable, if not fun. Best not to sugar coat it. One of my neighbors said his didn't hurt at all, but his wife said hers hurt a lot. They both got the Moderna shot. Our pharmacist told me that the upside of the shot hurting is that it is probably working. In other words, I think, she is saying that getting mildly sick from the shot means that one is developing antibodies to the disease in question.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

@1glenn, sorry to hear about your neighbor, and yes - one is too many.

I think we're all looking forward to returning to normal, whatever "normal" will be...

Not a big fan of the needle, myself but needs must and all that.

2 ( +6 / -4 )


Just to share experiences, I got my first jab yesterday (Pfizer) here in Scotland. No pain at all at injection time. My arm is a little painful now around the injection point (similar to my experience of the flu jab). So far, no other after effects (with my flu jab last year, I was slightly feverish the following day). My neighbors sound a bit like yours - the husband had no after effects but his wife felt not so good the following day - not pain so much as flu-like symptoms.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The problem is that it isn’t a vaccine, it’s gene therapy. The media is covering up how dangerous the Trump shot is.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

I don’t know any good products that ever need such massive commercial spots or

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The problem is that it isn’t a vaccine, it’s gene therapy. 

I have very little scientific knowledge of genetics and medicines. But why do I get the feeling you have even less knowledge than me?

Basic question - what's wrong with gene therapy if it's designed to combat a genetic attack by a virus? Based on words alone, it sounds a reasonable idea to me.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

That’s interesting @virusex. Can you elaborate?

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Can you summarize that @TOkyo-Eng?

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

The problem is that it isn’t a vaccine, it’s gene therapy. The media is covering up how dangerous the Trump shot is.

What part of the human genome is being modified with the vaccine? what kind of change in the expression of proteins do you believe happens?

None of the vaccines are in any way gene therapy, but people that never got their nucleic acids right in junior high school can easily get confused. An mRNA vaccines does even less than what an attenuated virus vaccine does inside the cell, do you believe those vaccines (including the prototypical vaccine) are all genetic therapy? they all mean there is viral RNA inside the cells producing lots of proteins and even replicating.

0 ( +7 / -7 )

Is this real, or rumor?? "Go ahead, take chimpanzee RNA, mix it with your DNA....your children have no choice as the chimpanzee RNA will be passed on.-@Goodlucktoyou"

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Is this real, or rumor?? "Go ahead, take chimpanzee RNA, mix it with your DNA....your children have no choice as the chimpanzee RNA will be passed on.-@Goodlucktoyou"

Probably someone badly understanding 3 different things and mixing it in a single big mistaken clump. No vaccine has any chimpanzee RNA, there is no point in it, RNA do not change the DNA nor it would be transmitted to the children.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

My doctor who got moderna jab vaccine told me she had painful headache for 2 days.

Her peers told her even the 2nd jab can bring difficult times for a day or two.

But that is little price to pay to save many lives.

I had last week a vaccine against bacteria (Pneumovax). For an evening, I was feeling like a ice and shaking like 3/11 earthquake.

Again, my life is worth much more that little hard time.

Science to help you. Be ready if things go wrong, as in daily life.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Was talking with the neighbors and family about the pain involved with the shot. It wasn't fun, but not all that bad.

On the subject of pain and vaccines, the worst pain I ever got from a shot was the yellow fever shot. The second worst would be the cholera shot. In the service, they made us take all sorts of shots for things that most people don't have to worry about.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Does it hurt? Does it matter?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I have had both my Moderna vaccinations and neither one caused undue pain at the injection site. The second injection caused a bit of lethargy and some joint pain for a few days but I'm happy I had it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I will have to purchase a copy of playboy - for the articles of course

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Before coming to Japan working for the state department I was stuck with everything and Don’t remember a thing.

I will get my jab.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Both my parents had the Pfizer vaccine in the UK. Mother said it was just like any other jab, father didn't notice the needle at all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My mother had it in the UK a few weeks ago, she said it was the smoothest, least painful jab she's ever had.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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