I didn’t see this mentioned, but COVID often causes blood clots, pretty extensive and disastrous ones that cause strokes, organ damage, and loss of limbs. It has something to do with interaction of the virus with the linings of the blood vessels. Because of this, part of the standard protocol for hospitalized patients is the use of blood thinners.
However, due to my active AVM, forget anticoagulants–I’m not supposed to take any medication that interferes with clotting, even NSAIDS like ibuprofen, as it raises the risk of another brain bleed. Something I sure don’t want to deal with, especially along with a COVID infection. That means if I were to get seriously ill with Covid, the doctors would have to balance the risk of one kind of stroke with the risk of another. Not a position I want to be in.
With millions of people already vaccinated, we’ve got a pretty clear picture of what the relative risks are between the vaccine and the infection. It’s not even close, in my mind, especially given AVM status. A Covid infection is potentially disastrous and the vaccine can prevent it.
For the record, I didn’t have any side effects from either dose of the vaccine, maybe a very slightly sore arm if I thought about it. Apparently that’s the usual reaction. My spouse had a fever for maybe two hours right before bedtime and woke up fine. My college age kid got really sick for a day or so, muscles aches and fever, but the next morning he went rock climbing. He’s ready to be first in line to do it again for a booster.
Regarding anxiety: after my second shot, I surprisingly felt like a weight had been lifted, one I’d been carrying for more than a year without even realizing it was there. That low level stress about inadvertently getting the disease was gone. Even more important, I was able to be with family at my mother-in-law’s funeral early this summer, and since all of us were fully vaccinated, none of us were worried about inadvertently giving someone there a potentially fatal disease.