The Covid-19 Vaccine: Our Knights’ Very Own Experiences

Photo Courtesy of European Pharmaceutical Review

Photo Courtesy of European Pharmaceutical Review

There are now three Covid-19 vaccines that have been administered to thousands of teenagers above the age of 16. The selection includes Pfizer- BioNTech, whose studies have shown that the levels of virus-fighting antibodies were higher in kids’ immune systems. The main side effects of these vaccine shots for young adults include pain, fever, chills, and fatigue. These effects usually come after the second dose. Other authorized and recommended vaccines include Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. It usually takes two weeks for your body to build immunity against the Covid-19 virus. The vaccines produce T-lymphocytes and B-lymphocytes that provide protection for the body after infected with the virus. Taking the shot can reduce your risk of severe illness of infected and can protect those around you from catching the virus. Some of our very own Knights have received the vaccine, and I had the chance to hear their first-hand experiences with receiving it.

Photo Courtesy of AARP (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Q: What were your first thoughts when you found out that the vaccine was being distributed to people as young as 16? 

Alex Lee (Senior): I was super excited! This is kind of funny, but I actually got my first dose the day before it was announced; I was eligible because I’m an essential worker in a grocery store. Even so, when I realized that my friends had the opportunity to get it, I was beyond happy that more teens could receive it and advocate for it.

Astha Rohit (Senior): I was really excited! I’ve been wanting the vaccine since distribution began, so I was really happy that it was finally made available to our age group.

Carrie Chen (Junior): I was really excited! I wasn’t expecting to be able to get it until the summer, so I was super surprised when they offered appointments to us. My parents have already been vaccinated, so I wanted to get it as well so my whole family could be safe.

Q: How did you schedule an appointment? Did you do any prior research about the vaccine before taking it? 

Alex Lee: I was able to schedule an appointment through my pediatrician and had it done at CGCC. I did some research on Pfizer specifically, but I wasn’t too concerned; the anxiety medicine I take is made by them as well, so my hesitation was almost nonexistent.

Astha Rohit: My parents actually scheduled my appointment through the phone because I was in class. They told me that they called the provided number because slots were filling up too quickly on the website. They tried on the website for half an hour then decided to call and were able to get me an appointment. I read some articles and such about the vaccine before getting it. Also, my grandparents got it before me, so I saw the process and effects firsthand with them.

Carrie Chen: I heard through social media and the news that appointments were available, so I asked my mom to make the appointment. I did some research on the vaccines themselves beforehand, so I knew what to expect and also how the vaccines work.

Q: What were your parents and your family’s thoughts about taking the vaccine? 

Alex Lee: My family was completely vaccinated before I got my first dose. Overall, they were pushing for me to get it since I live in a house with an elderly woman, a man with chronic asthma, and a frontline educator. They were beyond supportive and helped so much throughout the process, for which I’m beyond grateful.

Astha Rohit: My parents and the rest of my family were also very excited about getting the vaccine. They believed it is absolutely necessary to get in order to create herd immunity.

Carrie Chen: Since both of my parents were already vaccinated, they were totally on board with me getting it as well. My mom got it a couple of months ago since she works in healthcare, so we already knew that the side effects weren’t anything too scary or worrying.

Q: How did the entire process go? What was going through your mind when you were receiving the vaccine? 

Alex Lee: The process was pretty streamlined and the volunteers were so kind! You start by confirming your appointment, going through another line of cars, and then you give them some basic information. After that is processed, you get vaccinated in a separate tent all within the comfort of your vehicle. Please note, if you’re under 18, you MUST have a parent or guardian with you.

Astha Rohit: The entire process was fairly easy! The website was a little difficult to navigate at first, but we got the hang of it when we got my grandparents their appointments. The process at the distributing center was very organized. Actually, getting the vaccine was super quick, so I barely registered it.

Carrie Chen: It went really smoothly! I got mine at CGCC, and the amount of volunteers there made the process really easy, and we just had to drive through. I was a little nervous because I don’t really like shots, but it was so fast and didn’t even hurt.

Photo Courtesy of PAHO

Q: Did you experience any side effects? How did you rest after taking the vaccine? 

Alex Lee: I felt basically nothing after the first dose. Sure, my arm was a little sore, but it really didn’t do much. After the second, I didn’t really experience flu-like symptoms but I felt groggy, a little dizzy, and hungry. I think I slept for around 15 hours that night; my advice is to just keep drinking water. Fluids are everything.

Astha Rohit: I experienced some soreness, but besides that I was fine! I just drank a lot of water and rested throughout the day. I made sure to not sleep on that arm.

Carrie Chen: My arm was just a little sore, and I was kind of tired afterward. But that was expected since it was just my first dose. I’m a little nervous about the second dose since I know that the side effects are more severe after the second shot.

Q: Would you recommend taking the vaccine to those who are thinking about it? Why or why not? 

Alex Lee: Absolutely! Even if you don’t feel like it’ll do anything, I assure you it’ll make you and those around you feel safer. Even so, please keep wearing your mask. Just because we have another resource doesn’t mean we can stop the war we’ve been waging for a year against this pandemic.

Astha Rohit: Yes, I would absolutely recommend getting the vaccine because we will reach herd immunity quickly if everyone plays their part and gets the vaccine.

Carrie Chen: Yes! It’s so easy to register and the process goes smoothly; everyone is there to help you and they are prepared for any problems that may come up. It feels like a normal shot, and if that’s what it takes to make life go back to relative normalcy, there’s no reason not to do it!

Thank you so much, Astha, Alex, and Carrie for informing us about the process of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. We encourage all students to continue to wear a mask in order to keep themselves and everyone around them safe. Go Knights!