Last Sunday, I finally was able to get the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19. Don’t get me wrong – I absolutely hate getting shots. I always have. But for the first time in my life, I was overjoyed to have a needle poke me.
I got my vaccine at the Raymond James Stadium. When I went there was a line, but it wasn’t very long and moved fairly quickly. First you go through a checkpoint where you provide basic information for them to put into their system. This includes an email so they can contact you for your second appointment, which they schedule during your initial one.
After your eligibility is checked here, you move to the actual vaccination stations. There are several lines, and each line has a number of workers going to the different cars. They verify your information, give you the shot and then you move on to observation.
The two women who were giving me my shot were extremely friendly and made the experience even better. I didn’t even feel the needle when they gave me the shot.
They then have you sit in a line for about 15 minutes to monitor and make sure that no one is having a reaction to the vaccine. Then you’re free to go! This is where the fun starts.
The COVID-19 vaccine is known to have some mild side effects, including fatigue, headache and nausea. People who have had COVID-19 before, and younger people are both more susceptible to side effects. Lucky for me – I fall into both of those categories.
The rest of the day after my vaccine, I was more tired than I have ever been in my life. Staying awake was a struggle. My body felt sore, and I had absolutely no energy.
Following that day, the next two were even worse. Each morning I woke up feeling nauseous and congested. Throughout the day, these symptoms lessened, but they were still unpleasant.
My next shot is scheduled for April 25. The side effects for the second dose of the vaccine are often more significant than those from the initial dose. I am not looking forward to that, but I’m still very happy I’m getting my vaccine.
For me, even though the side effects aren’t great, having COVID-19 is so much worse. COVID-19 is dangerous in terms of long-term health effects and other risks, while the vaccine is safe and protects you from getting the virus. It also is proven to limit the spread of the coronavirus from person-to-person, so by getting your vaccine you’re helping to keep other people safe.
Feeling sick for a couple of days is nothing when compared to the benefits of getting the vaccine. I don’t regret my decision, and I would urge everyone who is eligible to get their vaccine as soon as possible.