Hear from Your Peers on What It’s Like to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine

People+line+up+in+their+cars+at+UCSD+to+receive+their+COVID-19+vaccine.+Folks+can+book+their+COVID-19+vaccine+appointment+at+Walgreens%2C+CVS+and+SanDiegoCounty.gov.

People line up in their cars at UCSD to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. Folks can book their COVID-19 vaccine appointment at Walgreens, CVS and SanDiegoCounty.gov.

Tiffany Leyva, Staff Reporter

You log into Instagram, click a friend’s story, and are bombarded with photos of people posing with their vaccination cards. You then log into TikTok and are greeted with teens spinning their arms after they got a dose of the vaccine. 

On April 15th, California opened up vaccines for everyone 16 and older and with the Pfizer vaccine recently being approved for  12-15 year-olds, life in the pandemic is becoming safer and looking up. Especially since Gavin Newsom plans to lift restrictions in California on June 15, if cases and hospitals continue to remain stable.

It’s pretty safe to say that there’s quite a lot of excitement with vaccines at the moment and that most people know someone who’s had at least one dose of the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson and Johnson vaccines. 

“It’s so difficult to schedule,” senior Noe Avila said. “Once you’re in, you’re finally in. Three nights in a row my mom and I were refreshing our browsers at 12 am until we got an appointment. Not fun.”

People line up in their cars at UCSD to receive their COVID-19 vaccine. Folks can book their COVID-19 vaccine appointment at Walgreens, CVS and SanDiegoCounty.gov.

Finding a vaccine appointment, in the beginning, was frustrating, especially due to there being less supply than demand at the time. But now there’s a larger supply of vaccines than demand. Along with refreshing browsers at midnight one can book their vaccine appointment at San Diego County.gov, Walgreens, CVS, UCSD, and many other places. 

“I got mine at Rady Children’s hospital in San Diego,” junior Floyd O’toole said. “Almost everyone there was [an adult] which was interesting because it was a children’s hospital but I guess it was open to anybody. There were a lot of people there… I’m glad that a lot of people are getting their vaccines.”  

San Diego County is about 60 percent of the way to inching closer to local officials’ goal of fully vaccinating at least 75% of the residents that are 16 and older. Knowing that the county is that much closer to herd immunity brings hope for somewhat normal activities this summer. 

“I’m excited about living life [like before] with lots of people, going to the movies, I missed the movies, I don’t know just sort of doing stuff,” O’toole said. 

The recent news of universities including the CSU and UC systems announcing a vaccine requirement for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year brings joy to current SCHS seniors who haven’t had much to look forward to in their senior year. 

“I did a webinar thing and they said there will be a 90% vaccination at [my college]… [making it] basically herd immunity and you’ll get to live kinda a normal life on campus,” senior Lilly Schiefler said. “I will feel more safe going to places [like] going to a restaurant, going to the mall, and not being cooped up in my home for a year. [The vaccine] provides hope for going on with your life and being able to see friends, which I haven’t seen for over a year.”

Shoes standing next to a social distancing marker while waiting in line for the vaccine. On April 15, anyone 16 and older became eligible to get the vaccine in California.

Her parents were at risk due to their ages. Thanks to the Pfizer and Moderna Vaccines, her family and many others feel secure about going to in-person graduation in June. 

“I strongly encourage…everyone to get their vaccines, it’s highly important,” Schiefler said. “If people don’t get vaccinated, they will be either harming themselves or other people.”

According to the CDC, common side effects of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines include tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea. Although it seems like the effects are not as severe for the Pfizer vaccine. 

As for the side effects of the vaccine, everyone reacts differently regardless of age. 

“I didn’t really have any side effects…  I can give you the perspective of the rest of my family. My mom got her second dose two days ago of the Pfizer vaccine and she was just a little bit tired,” Avila said. “I was a little bit drowsy, I slept very well. My dad got his vaccine a week ago and he said his arm was a little bit sore. But we haven’t had any of the major side effects.”

Some things can be done to lessen the side effects of the vaccine. These include drinking lots of water right after the injection and continuing to do so for 48 hours after your dose. You can also take a cool bath and use icy hot or ibuprofen for muscle pain. 

Reaching herd immunity is a team effort and requires everyone who can to do their part by getting the vaccine. 

“I am 100 percent convinced that the vaccine will not yield any damage to me because I have had pre-Michelle Obama [school] lunches before,” Avila said. “There is nothing worse that the government can put in me.”