By Cassandra Castillo, Asst. Features Editor–
Upon receiving my first dose of the COVID vaccine, I felt a weight lifted off of my shoulders and a wave of adrenaline kicking in.
After a year of wearing masks and having to stay away from loved ones, a sense of normalcy is slowly starting to come back all thanks to the highly-anticipated COVID vaccine, which is now eligible to those in Phase 1C.
Like many other college students, I work for Hamilton County Schools in their childcare program, so I was able to schedule an appointment in their vaccination event following their partnership with One-to-One Health. The most recent event was held on March 6 at East Ridge Elementary and was well attended by teachers and other school personnel. The parking lot was close to full, but the process was so smooth that people were able to leave fairly quickly.
After entering, I was greeted and led to a table with staff that checked my COVID vaccine consent form. Then I was asked to walk through a hallway covered in student projects and posters that led to the gym where I would receive my vaccine. I noticed a purple flag waving at a station—one of many— near the gym entrance, which signaled an open seat. Two friendly medical assistants let me know that I would be receiving the Moderna vaccine and all I had to do was show them my ID; they handled the rest.
The other half of the school gym was considered the waiting room. It was packed with metal chairs where people conversed after getting their vaccine. They all looked delighted to be there.
While waiting, I registered to the online V-Safe Checker that asked for side-effects after receiving the vaccine. It simply reports information about any side-effects to the Center for Disease Control and gives a reminder about the second dose. I personally felt lethargic and had a mild headache a few hours after receiving it, but they are normal symptoms.
The whole process took less than 20 minutes, and that included the 15 minute wait time.
Although each vaccination site may be slightly different, the overall process may still abide by the same procedures of scheduling an appointment, getting the vaccine, and waiting 15 minutes for any immediate side effects.
My arm may be sore for a few days, but it is 100% worth it, and I encourage everyone to get it once they are eligible. And although there is still a long way to go back to “normal,” getting vaccinated is the best way to start.