Health Huddle – Vaccine

Kelly Brown post-shot April 7, 2021, Photo provided by Kelly Brown

My First Dose of COVID-19 Vaccine

by Kelly Brown

(I booked an appointment for a covid vaccine on the Berrien County Health Department’s website and had it administered at River Valley Middle/High School as it was the closest location to me on 4/7/2021.)

I’m not going to lie, I was nervous! Not about actually getting the vaccine, I was (and still am) pretty confident about that process. I was anxious about what the appointment process would entail. Would I have to stand in a line for a long time, even though I had scheduled an appointment? Would the high school be really crowded?

The truth is, there was absolutely no reason for my nerves! Everything went smoothly from the time I arrived. There were several stops to make in the parking lot upon arrival, where I was first checked in by a volunteer and my name crossed off of a list, from there I was directed to stop in front of a tent where another volunteer gave me a clipboard with a sheet to fill out and a pen. They then directed me to follow two other volunteers who were directing vehicles into parking spaces. I was given directions to fill out the paper in my car and only when that was completed should I make my way to a specific door to enter. After I entered the building there was a line with 3 or 4 people standing in it but, there were markers on the floor to help us stay 6 feet apart and it took less than 10 minutes to get to the front of the line. Great experience so far!

When I got to the front of the line a volunteer looked over the paper I had filled out just to make sure it was complete and I was whisked away to a station to get my shot. The medical worker asked me all of the questions you’d expect to be asked before getting a vaccine and before I knew it I had been poked, bandaged, and sent over to another station to be scheduled for my next dose (the doses have to be a month apart). After that all I had to do was sit in an area (with appropriately spaced chairs) for 15 minutes to make sure I wasn’t going to have a severe allergic reaction to the vaccine. There was a separate door to leave from when my observation time was up.

Ultimately, I don’t think I could have gotten a better experience! The whole process was very organized and efficient and the staff were friendly and knew exactly what everyone should be doing and where. The day after I had the vaccine the arm they put it in was very, VERY sore and stayed that way for 2 whole days. On the third day my arm wasn’t quite as sore as it had been but still twinged a bit and by the fourth day the soreness had gone away completely. Having admitted that, I would still choose to get the vaccine and deal with a really sore arm for a while rather than take my chances and catch COVID!

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