Disclosure :: We recognize whether or not to receive the vaccine is a personal choice and all individuals should consult their healthcare providers with any questions or concerns.
I Got My COVID 19 Vaccine :: Full of Antibodies and Hope
When I first heard the COVID-19 vaccine was being released to the public, my first thought was “I’m going to wait and see how that goes for the first round and then I might get it.” I admit I had doubts and was fearful. As a nurse, I trust in science and I trust the recommendations and guidelines set forth by the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control. I know how development and trials of medications work, so I decided to do my own research and learn as much as I could. When I got my email to schedule my vaccine appointment, I knew that I was ready to receive it with confidence, as did many of my colleagues who span all ages, are pregnant, breastfeeding, trying to get pregnant, are cancer survivors, so many different walks of life coming together to take the first step in moving past this pandemic.
How Does It Feel
I received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on December 21st, and the only side effect I had was a sore arm for about 12 hours. I received my second dose three weeks later on January 12th, after working a 12 hour night shift. I went home, went straight to bed, and then went back to work that night. About 20 hours after receiving the vaccine, I developed some mild body aches and a mild headache. I am sure they would have been relieved with a dose of Tylenol, but I wanted to experience the side effects so I could answer questions for when my friends and family asked. At 26 hours, I started with a very low grade fever – the highest was 101.0 and lasted about 12 hours. I was also very tired, although I had just worked six straight night shifts so that could have contributed. At 48 hours, I was totally back to normal.
After receiving that second dose, I was overcome with emotion. The realization that this virus has consumed our lives for OVER A YEAR is mind blowing. I started to cry when the reality that in two weeks (the time when immunity is reached), I could essentially get on a plane to Portland to finally hug my mom and grandma. (We chose not to visit our families on the West coast this year in order to keep everyone as safe as possible. My grandma, like Betty White, is a national treasure that must be protected at all costs.)
I felt hopeful. I could see the light at the end of this COVID tunnel. We could get back to somewhat normal … back to family, back to friends, meeting all the babies born during the pandemic, back to fests, back to school without the threat of quarantine hanging over us.
Hope For The Future
I know that there are a lot of questions and a lot of uncertainty in regards to taking the vaccine. It is a personal choice so it is important to educate yourself using reliable and reputable sources.
I imagine when vaccines for polio came out, there was doubt then as well. Thank you to those parents who stood in lines to get that vaccine for their kids, so that our generation and future generations would never know the pain and devastation that disease can cause. Let’s do that for our future grandkids and their kids, let’s be the generation that lived through the pandemic, and thanks to science, ended it before it ended us.
As a nurse, a mom, a daughter, granddaughter, neighbor, friend, obscure blog writer, I would say get the vaccine. Do it for yourself, for your loved ones, for your community, for Jazz Fest, for Mardi Gras, for people awaiting an elective surgery, for the families who have endured the loss of a loved one to COVID. Allow yourself the feeling of being filled with antibodies and hope.