Vaccination hesitation

By Mac Pomeroy

Once people with certain disabilities became eligible in Ohio to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, I immediately began trying to book my appointment. While there is some fear and speculation regarding the shot, I had no doubt or hesitation this was right for me. My mother had been part of the first group to be eligible in the state for the vaccine, so I had already seen what she had gone through.

I was excited to be eligible; however, it seemed like no matter where I checked for the first two weeks, no-one had an opening. Not CVS, not Giant Eagle, no one could fit in scheduling both shots. So, I kept checking. On March 2, I called Walgreens and was surprised to hear they had an opening. Then I heard the date: March 3.

Of course it was great I could get it done as soon as possible, but oh dear do I hate needles. Especially ever since I had to undergo treatment my sophomore year for trigger finger, just thinking of needles makes me sweat. Usually I prefer to have more time to mentally prepare myself, but I knew how difficult getting the opening was, so I accepted.

The next day, I arrived at the Walgreens with my father. Ankle length black cardigan and a shirt with a dinosaur saying “Wash your hands,” I hoped to look the part of a tough person who could totally do this. In reality, I probably looked like a lost 12-year-old who borrowed their mom’s Coach fanny pack. I did my best to calm the shaking in my hands as I walked to the pharmacy in the back, taking deep breaths.

When I reached the vaccine check in counter, the woman gave me a glance as if she thought I walked to the wrong desk. Seeing the more mature customer who went before me for his shot, I understood why. She asked for my ID, and seemed surprised I am 21, or maybe because I was old enough to have a legal ID at all. We went through a few quick questions, and she had me sit down and wait.

The sitting was the hard part. I knew the needle was coming any minute now, and while I had my dad to make sure I didn’t run, I felt more like I was going to be stabbed with a 6-inch blade. However, I would be damned if I let the older gentleman beside me act as though the injection he just received was nothing and I was out here being a coward.

When they called my name, I walked up and accepted my fate. The woman who was administering the vaccine was a very lovely person and had an extremely welcoming aura. She immediately laughed with us and joked about the shot before moving to my non-dominant side to give the shot.

As she rolled up my right sleeve and I buried my head into my dad’s shoulder, I asked her not to tell me when she did it. And then she rolled my sleeve back down. I glanced up.

“Was … that it?” I asked.

My dad laughed and said he saw her do it. Fifteen minutes later, we left.

I went back to The Jambar office for the first time in over a year. I missed the team a lot, and I wanted to say hi as a bit of a reward for having done it. There was about 15 more minutes between me getting my vaccination and me arriving at the office. On the way there, I felt absolutely fine. Once I arrived and began talking to our dear Mary Dota, I yawned. 

By the time I left, I felt quite tired. I nearly fell asleep in the car, but thankfully my sister was behind the wheel. When I got home, I took a nap.

And … that was it. I was just tired the next few days. Honestly, I have an energy problem normally, so I question how much of the fatigue was really the vaccine. But otherwise, I felt absolutely fine.

As of the time I am writing this, 12:43 a.m. on March 15, I don’t really have anything else to say. Sadly, unlike the memes I have seen circulating online, I didn’t grow any extra limbs or develop some cool super power. I just felt a bit tired the next few days, and it caused me to take some extra naps.

Basically, this is a very long way of saying something I feel like many people need to hear. Please, if you do not have any medical conditions causing you to be unable, consider getting the vaccine. My mother and I both got the Pfizer vaccination, but a few days later my grandfather in Florida received the Moderna one, and he is also well.

I understand how for many, this is a scary thing. It is a new vaccine, and for those in doubt, it was important to see what happened. I am not even saying you absolutely have to go schedule right now, but consider it. For me, while the build up was scary and intense, the aftermath was nothing. Once I got past the first step, it was fine.

Hopefully it takes us toward a better and safer tomorrow.