My experience with the COVID-19 vaccine

Published 11:01 am Thursday, May 6, 2021

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By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

My initial thought about the COVID-19 vaccine was that I would get it if it ever became required.

I wore my mask to the many meetings that were still in person. I took two steps back at one meeting when the person I was talking to said they had pneumonia. They were later diagnosed with COVID-19, but I had not been around them long enough to catch it.

Being a profession that was considered essential, I anticipated being eligible to receive the vaccine sooner, but wanted those at a higher risk of complications to get it first.

The more I thought about visiting family in Maryland and all the states I would drive through, the more inclined I was to looking into getting the vaccine.

Reporters and those working in news media wound up being in the last group of essential workers permitted to get the vaccine right before the state opened it up to everyone 16 or older.

When I saw that Cahaba Medical was having a vaccination event in Maplesville, I took the plunge and signed up for an appointment. Not having any kind of shot in over a decade, I was a bit nervous. My sister suggested a calming technique that I tweaked as I thought about getting a shot.

I got worked up for nothing. The butterfly needle hurt for a about half a minute and then it was over. However, when it came out I knew it would be sore for a while.

For me though, giving blood at the doctor’s office is way worse.

My arm was sore for about a week, but I had no other ill effects.

When it came time for the second dose I was more worried about side effects than the actual shot. My arm was not nearly as sore, possibly because I tried to move it around afterward.

I felt achy though and that night got a headache. However, it felt like a sinus headache and was likely more due to the atmospherics on a stormy day than the shot.

The next day I felt nauseous when I woke up, but after I ate and took something for the sinus headache I felt better.

I know everyone will respond differently to a vaccine, and those for COVID-19 have been given only emergency approval.

However, if you feel this is the right choice for you, there are now multiple opportunities to receive the vaccine right here in Chilton County. According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, Federal Pharmacy Providers giving the vaccine in Chilton County include Winn-Dixie, Walgreens and Walmart. Vaccines are also available through the Chilton County Health Department, St. Vincent’s Chilton and Cahaba Medical Care.

Appointments can be made on the pharmacy website or by contacting the medical facility.