Ya girl is vaccinated for COVID-19! 🎉🙌🏻
Honestly, this time last year, I never would have thought we’d have access to a vaccine. It’s some sort of modern medical miracle that we have three vaccines available to people this quickly. I am incredibly grateful to the scientists who worked on the COVID vaccine.
I feel like everyone has a vaccine story—because it is literally the Hunger Games out there—so here’s mine:
I live in Connecticut, and the state did appointments solely based on age. On April 1, it opened up to everyone 16 and older. Prior to that, the age cut off was anyone 45 and older. So there was a big chunk of the state’s population eligible at the beginning of April. As I saw and knew people who were getting appointments, especially friends who live in nearby Massachusetts, I was convinced I was never going to get an appointment. My mom and myself were checking CVS and Walgreens all day every day.
On April 5, out of pure luck, I was able to get an appointment through my primary care doctor’s portal. It was for April 21 down at the convention center. I’d have to wait a few weeks but at least I had an appointment; my dad said he’d drive me down that afternoon. So I felt relieved that I had an appointment.
A few days later, while I was eating dinner after going for a run, my mom came into the kitchen and showed me an entire day of open appointments at CVS for the upcoming Sunday. It was at a CVS about 40 minutes or so from my house—not the one in town—but I was going to take it, especially since I knew I’d be getting Pfizer. With the convention center appointment, I didn’t know which vaccine I’d be getting; in that case, I just took the earliest appointment that was available. So I got the new Sunday appointment and cancelled my other one.
I felt a bit better going to CVS, and we made it a family affair. My dad drove us down, and my mom went in with me; they both had gotten their shots at CVS so my mom basically knew how the operation would go. I checked in at a table in the front of the store, and once I got my card—like the CDC card—I went to the back of the store.
I was early for my scheduled appointment at 11:15 but they took me anyway. I got the shot in my left arm, and aside from feeling a bit of pressure from the needle itself, the process of getting the shot was pretty quick and easy. Since you have to wait 15 minutes after the shot to make sure you don’t get any side effects, there were chairs set up socially distanced in the greeting card aisle. A staff member was timing all of us and would tell us when we could leave after our time was up.
As I was sitting there, I thought, this is so 2021. Like years from now, it’ll seem weird, but that day it felt completely normal to be sitting in front of the dad birthday cards.
Once my time was up, I was allowed to leave. I asked for a sticker before I left so I’d have proof of my vaccination.
Drink a lot of water and keep rotating your arm. Like you’re trying to send a runner home at 3rd for a play at home plate.Post-shot advice I received via text
The next day my arm was sore but wasn’t anything too bad, just a bit uncomfortable. I took some Advils and massaged the area where the shot was. By Tuesday I was fine.
The three weeks in between shots felt long but I was glad the day finally came. I went down by myself for the second shot. It was at the same CVS so I made a morning of it, listening to a podcast on the way down and getting a coffee at Dunkin’ on the way back.
I got there about 10 minutes early so I sat in the parking lot before heading in. I checked it at the front table again before heading to the back of the store. They had changed the set up since I was last there; they now had a structure set up with two openings—one on each side of the front—where you’d go to get your shot and they could slide a door closed in front. I actually had the same woman administer the shot as my first time. They took me early again and I just felt the pressure of the needle. It was super quick and easy.
I had to sit again for 15 minutes, and once again, I was in the greeting card aisle. This time I was in front of the her birthday cards. There were a few other people waiting in the aisle, and there was a staff member keeping track of our time and letting us go. And she gave me another sticker!
I bought new mascara and eye liner before leaving the store—shout out to CVS for the 20% coupon for getting my COVID vaccine.
Then I spent about 10 minutes in the parking lot sitting in my SUV trying to get a good enough selfie to post.
Then came the waiting game of any shot #2 side effects. Both of my parents got Pfizer and were fine after, so I was hoping that meant I was going to be fine as well. Since I’ve been having trouble with my allergies—it’s a fun time, folks—I stayed in during the afternoon and watched Netflix.
I also started to become hyper-aware of my body and played the game of “Is it allergies, a normal body function, or a vaccine side effect?” What really surprised me is that my arm I got the shot in never hurt. After the first one, it felt like I got punched incredibly hard in the spot.
Going into the night, I was still fine. But when it came to going to bed, I had some trouble falling asleep; not sure if it was because of the iced coffee I had in the afternoon, the wine I had around 8:00 p.m., or me just being paranoid that something was going to happen. I eventually fell asleep around midnight.
I woke up feeling fine but throughout the morning I had some minor chills and just felt exhausted. I was able to take a half day from work and I napped for about 3 hours in the afternoon, and it definitely helped. After that, I was fine, and by today on day two, I’m still fine. So I think I lucked out not really having any side effects.
It feels like a huge sigh of relief now that I’m vaccinated. I know we still have time before everything goes back to “normal” but it feels like a step in the right direction.