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As Japan gears up for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, a medical worker who received her first shot last week has shared her experience, saying she had a mild pain after getting the vaccine but the discomfort disappeared in three days.

The worker at a Tokyo hospital recently spoke about the discomfort she had in her arm after taking the shot made by U.S. drugmaker Pfizer Inc.

Japan started its novel coronavirus vaccination program in February, starting with medical workers. The Pfizer vaccine needs to be administered twice.

“It hurt a little” just after the inoculation on the afternoon of Feb. 22, said the Tokyo hospital worker in her 20s.

The woman agreed to be vaccinated, thinking that the vaccination “would help me feel more secure.”

“I felt a slight pinch, but it wasn’t that painful compared with shots I’ve taken before,” she recalled.

She carefully monitored her condition after the COVID-19 vaccine shot as she had breathing difficulties after an inoculation in the past.

“I shared information with my doctor in advance, so there was no need to be overly afraid,” she added.

On the day, she worked at her hospital until early evening as she saw no problems with her condition, and spent the rest of the day as usual.

However, around 10-11 p.m., about eight hours after being vaccinated, she felt discomfort in her left upper arm, where she got the shot.

It was not swelling, but she felt pain when touching the affected part. “It was like pressing a bruise with a finger,” she said.

She took a day off the next day as had been instructed to do so by her hospital regardless of the presence or absence of side effects.

She still felt the pain in her arm then, but it was not serious. She did not take a painkiller distributed after the inoculation.

The pain gradually eased and completely disappeared three days after receiving the shot.

She did not experience major side effects such as fever and weariness.

About 20,000 medical workers, out of about 40,000 in the first group in Japan to get inoculated, are keeping records as part of a government survey, such as whether they had any side effects, such as pain, redness, swelling of affected parts and whether they took a painkiller.

The woman plans to keep recording her condition. “I hope (my experience) will be useful for upcoming vaccinations,” she said.

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