Getting the second shot
By the time my appointment for the second COVID-19 vaccine shot rolled around, I’ll admit I was a little nervous. There had been enough time to hear the stories of those who experienced unpleasant side effects for a day or two after the injection. It has become a bit of a scheduling fixture to write down the dates on which employees are getting their second shots, so we can plan for the possibility they won’t be working the following day.
But, on the day of the appointment, I drove out to the spot at which I received my first shot and saw a few familiar faces. Instantly, I was breathing a little easier.
On the other hand, this time I had my paperwork filled out in advance and the crowd was thinner. I whisked into the building a little more quickly. Less time to get used to the idea of another jab. Folks who had perfected the process efficiently handled my papers and cards and handed them back to me …
Oh. Sit right over there then? Now? OK …
A smiling woman working so quickly I didn’t have time to process what was happening and was already putting a Band-Aid on my upper arm. I said “Phew, you’re good at that!” I barely felt a thing. She just grinned and said she’d had lots of practice.
Again, I made my way over to the seats where I waited out the 15 minutes to ensure I didn’t have an immediate reaction. More familiar faces. (Which got me thinking — how many faces have these folks seen in the past few months? How many people have they saved, both through the people receiving injections and those peoples’ friends, co-workers and family who will be safer, too?)
Then I made my way out, waved at the men and women guiding people in the parking lot, and I was on my way.
Now here’s what I really need to convey: My arm was sore, just like it was after the first one. So, OK, I wasn’t going to lie down on my left side to sleep that night. But otherwise, I felt no different for the rest of that day. That night, I woke up once, kind of sweaty — like what happens if a fever breaks.
So, I got up and took some Tylenol, as my doctor had suggested when I last saw her. Then I went back to sleep. When I woke the next morning, I sat in bed for a minute thinking “This is it. I’m about to feel like I got hit by a truck …”
Except I didn’t. I was tired, yes. In fact I spent a few hours of that following day feeling something close to fatigued. But I was able to work. And even that sleepy sensation was fading by the time I headed home that evening. In fact, when I got home I thought “Holy cow, I made it. I’m fine!”
And in a couple of weeks, I’ll be fully vaccinated. Woohoo!
I’m so grateful for the volunteers and folks at the Washington County Health Department for working as hard as they have to make that happen — and not just for me.
If you’re on the fence about getting vaccinated or going back for your second shot, I’m not here to tell you the side effects are being exaggerated, or that you won’t experience them. You might. But I’ve not heard a single person say they felt bad past those one or two days of being sort of achey and flu-ish. Meanwhile, I’m proof there’s a good chance it won’t be that bad.
And either option is better than going through COVID-19 and/or taking the chance of passing it on to someone else.
Go get it done, ladies and gentlemen. There are some wonderful people waiting to take care of you — and give you an opportunity to help us get past this monster. You can do it.
Christina Myer is executive editor of The Parkersburg News and Sentinel. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org