After almost 11 months of isolation and watching the devastation this virus has created in our world, I gratefully accepted to take the Covid-19 vaccine when it was offered to my age group. It happened last Sunday.
My appointment at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami was made on the phone by my sister Gladys. She is 10 years my senior and was sweet enough to think of me and make an appointment for both of us.
She was lucky to get through very busy telephone lines and agree that on January 10th at 9:15 AM we would both be there to receive it. The follow up second vaccine was also scheduled for February 7th at the same time.
It was the perfect day. The sky was blue, and the sun was out, and although it was chilly (For us chilly means in the 50s. Don’t judge us dear Canadians!), the view of the bay approaching Miami Beach was blinding and beautiful.
It was a 10-minute drive with almost no traffic – a miracle. We arrived at the parking lot, entered the clinic, and sat to fill in a form. Then we were ushered to the adjacent building where our names were called immediately. A nurse took me to a very comfy armchair.
Before he jabbed my arm, I asked him if I could take a picture of the procedure. He said, “I can do better than that!” and asked one of his colleagues to take the photo for me. She took a video and a few stills in quick succession.
I am happy she did, because if I didn’t have that video, I would never have believed that I had gotten the shot. I felt zero impact or pain. I praised Elicier’s (yes, unusual name that I had never heard before) skill, put my coat on, and went to a waiting room where I was to stay for 15 minutes in case there were any immediate side-effects.
There my sister introduced me to her nurse, Lidia, who was funny, cheerful, and lovely. Quite frankly, all hospital personnel did not let the masks prevent them from showing their good cheer, happy disposition, and helpfulness. Everyone was warm and cordial.
15 minutes later, we were in the car and on our way home. We had arrived at the hospital at 9AM and were back in my house at 9:40AM. A true record in this otherwise frantic city where traffic is usually a nightmare.
We received the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine and were informed that while there was no FDA (United States Federal Drug Administration) approved vaccination yet, the organization was making it available through a mechanism called an EUA, an Emergency Use Authorization.
“The EUA is supported by a Secretary of Health and Human Services declaration that circumstances exist to justify the emergency use of drugs and biological products during the Covid-19 pandemic.” The known and potential benefits of the product outweigh it’s the known and potential risks. In the past 11 months, we have all learned the known risks of contracting Covid-19.
The fact sheet contained lots of information including the ingredients of the vaccine so that we would be able to determine if we were allergic to any of the components. We were also given a card stating that we had received the first dose of the Moderna vaccination and the appointment for the next dose.
We all have choices and decisions to make in life. For me, receiving the vaccine means that after the second application I will be able to leave my house feeling less burdened. While still wearing a mask throughout, washing hands, and distancing is crucial, I feel that there will be less dread of doing the simplest things that comprise my daily life.
Just as important is to provide safety and be part of my human community protecting myself and others from this terrible virus and public health hazard. I am happy to be able to be involved in the “herd immunity” that we so desperately need to get back to perhaps a new “normal,” hopefully a healthy one.
I’ve been asked this a lot since Sunday. “I’m sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop!” I reply. I now feel where nurse Elicier jabbed me but not even in a painful way. My arm just whispers, “See, now you believe?” to which I reply, “Oh shush arm, we’re doing well!”
They say that side effects could start around the third day, if at all. Some report that they may come after the second shot, if at all. We are, after all, individuals and as long as we know what to expect, we can cope with it.
My longer-term post-vaccine plans include all sorts of happy things. Topping the list is being able to see my kids and grandkids. My more immediate plans are being able to go to Target, to Trader Joe’s, and even to IKEA without thinking that Covid-19 is waiting around the corner to attack me.
In the meantime, I will continue to be cautious but at least not feel in such imminent danger as I’ve felt throughout 2020. Maybe it will be a Happy New Year after all!
Have you decided to get vaccinated for Covid? What drives your decision? How do you expect to feel emotionally after the vaccination? Please share your thoughts with the community, but make sure to note that vaccination is a personal decision.
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