My story of getting the COVID-19 vaccine

On Tuesday, Feb 9, I was able to receive my first dosage of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 and on Tuesday, March 2, I was able to receive my second and final dosage. Both experiences getting the shots were relatively the same, with only a few discrepancies.

My vaccination was offered via email to my mother from Texas Children’s Hospital, though my other family members, including my twin brother, have yet to receive any word on a vaccination of their own. My other family members aside, I was extremely excited to be getting the vaccine because it was going to bring me more peace of mind while attending in person school. I had been worried about possibly bringing the virus home to my family but now that anxiety is gone.  We have tried to figure out what set me apart to make me more eligible but have been unable to come up with an answer.

Getting the shot itself was an interesting experience. My appointments had both been at 4:50 p.m. so I went after school with a parent to the hospital. It was the same building I had done physical therapy in a few years prior, so I was already vaguely familiar with parts of the building.

I had to get screened and received a new mask before heading up the elevator, which took my parent and I to a hallway that led to a room that reminded me of Yakatomi Plaza from Die Hard. It was empty, open and the lights were off, which is a creepy combination in a medical building.

There were signs and stickers on the floor showing everyone where to go and when followed. For the first dosage, I found myself in a line of about 20 people but for the second, there were zero people in the line. I had to sign a few papers then followed more signs to the room where I would get the vaccine itself.

I coincidentally ended up going to the same station both for both doses, though with different nurses. My parents and I had to sign another form and confirm my information and then I was ready for the shot. The nurse had me lift my sleeve, wiped my arm with an alcohol pad, then administered the shot.

The first shot did not hurt at all. In fact, I barely even felt it. Granted, I was excitedly pointing out to my mother that Taylor Swift was playing through the speakers, so I was distracted. The second shot felt like a normal shot- I’m guessing because there was no Taylor there to help numb the sting. When the shots were done, I was given a neon bandage (pink the first time and orange the second) and sent out to the main hall. The whole process was less than five minutes.

We had to wait 15 minutes before leaving to see if I would have any adverse side effects but I was fine and was able to go home once my timer went off. I thought that meant that I would be in the clear with my side effects aside from the normal arm soreness but I was wrong.

The night of my first shot I developed a pounding headache and terrible nausea and fatigue. Thankfully, it was gone by the next morning but it was still upsetting. The soreness in my arm lasted for about a day or two and then went away. The night of my second shot I had no side effects other than the sore arm, which I was very thankful for.

I am so thankful that I was able to get the vaccine and I am excited to see so many people being able to receive it. That being said, if you get the vaccine like me, that does not mean that we should stop wearing our masks. We may be far more immune than others but they are still susceptible and should continue to wear a mask out of respect for the health of others.