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Opinion: My COVID-19 Vaccine Experience

by Santé Shasko

Photo by Hakan Nural on Unsplash.

Even before the vaccine for COVID-19 was out, I was always planning on getting it. There are three reasons why I wanted to receive the vaccine. First, I wanted to get the vaccine for my grandmother’s safety. Second, I wanted to get the vaccine because I am at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Third, I wanted to get the vaccine because I think it’s the right thing to do.

I work for the government health care company Public Partnerships (PPL), which put me in the 1A class in line for the vaccine. I am a health care provider along with my mother, and together, we also help take care of my 93-year-old grandmother, who has dementia.

So, for me, getting the vaccine was a no-brainer. I want to keep my grandmother’s health as safe as possible because she’s high risk and lives with us.

Also, I am at a high risk due to having asthma. This means if I were to get COVID-19, I would be at an increased risk of severe illness.

I think if you are eligible to receive one of the three vaccines you should get it. I think it’s the best and right thing to do, not only to keep yourself and your loved ones safe, but everybody as a whole.

Trying to schedule my vaccine shot took some time. Even though I was part of group 1A, which is first in line, it was hard to find a vaccine provider that had enough.

After three weeks of waiting after the vaccine came out, I finally was able to schedule an appointment at Excela Health for the Moderna vaccine.

Once the day came, I arrived at the building and went to check in. After I checked in and filled out my information, I was sent to a room with many other people to receive the vaccine from a nurse.

There were multiple stations set up around the room with different nurses at each distributing the shot. I was sent to one of the nurses at a station once it was open.  Then, I received my first dose of the vaccine.

I was told the first dose would be 85 percent effective after two weeks of receiving the shot. The nurse informed me that I might experience shoulder pain where I was given the shot. I was then told that I need to sit and wait for about 15 minutes to make sure I did not have any allergic reactions. They had a huge screen projector that showed the time to help keep track.

My second dose was scheduled two weeks from when I received the first shot.

I did have a lot of shoulder pain the day after my first dose. At one point, it was hard to lift my arms above my head because of how badly it hurt.

Just this past Thursday, I went in for my second dose of the Moderna vaccine. It was the same set up and same scenario, except this time, I was warned that 50 percent of people experience flu-like symptoms after their second dose, especially younger people.

The following morning, I was one of the 50 percent that experienced flu-like symptoms. I had aches, shills, sweats, headache, and fevers. This happened for the next two days, and I barely left my bed. It was miserable.

However, I felt that it was all worth it to keep my grandmother safe, myself safe, and everybody safe. In two weeks, I will be 95 percent protected from COVID-19, and that news is the best I have heard since this pandemic started back in March of last year.

It is important to keep ourselves and others safe during these times. Despite the concerns you might have over the vaccine, I think everybody who is eligible should go get their shots to help get back to a somewhat-normal life soon.

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