Here’s What it’s Like to Get the Vaccine

The vaccine is becoming more widely available, here’s what three people have to say about getting it

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In December of last year, the COVID-19 vaccine was approved for immediate use for those in need. Since then, there have been three vaccines in total made available for distribution by Moderna, Pfizer and now Johnson & Johnson. Despite the increase of vaccinations in America, many are still choosing not to be vaccinated. Others fall into their own priority groups.

Journalism professor Toni Albertson thinks that that makes no sense. “I think they’re nuts, anyone who goes against science and refuses to listen to the experts especially during a pandemic has no regard for human life,” she said. Albertson was already administered the vaccine earlier this month. “I kept refreshing the CA.Gov website until an appointment came up.”

“I felt nothing when I got it at noon. Around 8 p.m. I had a 99-degree temperature and a sore arm,” she said. “It’s so simple, perfectly safe, and we were all vaccinated as children which is why we have no smallpox or polio.”

Her next dose will be administered in three weeks. “There is no reason to believe the misinformation spread by gullible people,” she said. “Listen to the scientists!”

Some recipients of the vaccine, however, have reported more severe symptoms. Abraham Gonzalez, 27, a California National Guard analyst found out the vaccine was available to him two days before Christmas.

“I got my first shot on the 26th of December at 11 a.m.,” he said. “Right after, my arm where I got the shot was very sore, and by 8 p.m. I felt very weak and had a fever.”

Gonzalez remembers feeling other symptoms in the night as he slept. “I remember waking up sweaty, the next day I felt the same arm pain and by the night time again I felt weak and had a fever with another sweaty night,” he said. It was not until the following day that Gonzalez said he felt normal again.

His second vaccine injection was on Jan. 28, and he reported feeling only a real minor headache and light headedness, but nothing too major.

“Honestly, you are free to choose what you want to do with your life, just as long as you really feel that you made the responsible decision,” he said. “For those of you who are not sure if you want to be vaccinated, just do more research and talk to more people and maybe talk to someone who got the vaccine.”

Amanda Frausto, a marriage and family therapy Intern, found out she could get the vaccine fairly late.“I was always eligible under the 1A tier, but there was confusion within my agency about whether or not interns qualify under the terms,” she said.

“I work with children of families who have experienced domestic violence.” The agency Frausto interns for has her working for three residential families that receive free therapy and case management services. “The day I got my first shot, I felt my arm soreness later that night,” she said.

Her first dose was on Feb. 4 and her second was 24 days later. She said she felt the same symptoms for both injections. “I had arm soreness later that night and the next day I had a headache and fatigue. After that, I had no symptoms,” she said.

“I have compassion for anti-Vaxxers, but I believe they are misguided,” she said. “There is a lot of misinformation about vaccines in our media and social media.”

Frausto said she understands why people of color have difficulty trusting healthcare professionals due to maltreatment in the past, but she believes this fear can be overcome. “I hope that with more outreach and education people can learn more truthful information about vaccines,” she said.

Frausto said that the fear of getting the vaccine should not people from getting it, but instead encourage them to find out through their own research about the risks and benefits. “It’s okay to be scared, but in order for children to go back to school, businesses to open up, and people to continue living, we have to get the vaccine.”

Many other participants who have received their doses of the COVID vaccine have related very similar symptoms. Eligible individuals can schedule their appointment to receive the vaccine at the California Department of Public Health website.