To get the COVID-19 vaccine or not to get it – that seems to be the question that still plagues society. Skepticism, conspiracy theories, fear, underlying medical conditions, or simply indifference stop people from taking this step. The only thing that bothers me is that most of these people defy the sanitary recommendations, putting others in danger. I am in no position to judge anybody, so I’ll stop at that.
Instead, I’m going to share my experience with the COVID-19 vaccine, hoping to shed a bit of light on the process and maybe encourage those who still hesitate.
The vaccination campaign in Romania
Firstly, a few words on how things are going in my country: the population was divided into three main categories. They had to make individual appointments on an online platform, choosing the vaccination center and the date for both doses. The medical staff and essential workers got the shot at the end of 2020. People over 65 and chronic patients followed in February. The general adult population started to get the vaccine after March 15th.
So far (May 7th), 5.688.721 doses have been administered in Romania – which is lesser than I expected. The process is still slow, but a few drive-in centers have recently opened in the main cities. Let’s hope that will speed things up for those who didn’t have access to the vaccine until now.
My experience concerning the COVID-19 vaccine
I got my first shot of the Moderna vaccine at the beginning of April. I had to go to another, even smaller town to get it because the lists in my hometown were already full even before the platform started working. Suspicious much? The fact that people had to travel to different counties to get their jab is a common occurrence here in Romania, which isn’t fair for the disabled or otherwise vulnerable people. Thankfully, the center I was appointed to was only a short trip away, and the process went smoothly, so I’m not complaining that much.
Once I got there, a nurse measured my temperature, heart rate, and oxygen saturation level. I also had to fill a questionnaire regarding my general health status. After a few minutes, I entered the vaccination room and got the shot. I chose to have it in my left arm because I am right-handed and sleep on the right side. Not gonna lie, the vaccine jab did hurt a little, but the sensation only lasted for a few seconds.
If you are afraid of needles, it’s best to distract yourself by talking to the nurse or thinking about something you love. You can even listen to your favorite song if that helps you to relax.
Next, I went to a waiting room, where I spent 15 minutes under a member of the medical staff’s watch, in case something went wrong. I didn’t have any side effects, but my mother reported her arm went numb after the first dose. The lady – who didn’t’ seem to be a medical doctor – didn’t pay her any attention, which left us a poor impression. Things went better the second time when neither my mom nor I had any problems afterward. The medic in charge of us actually did her job and told us what to do if we felt uncomfortable later.
My arm started to hurt after a couple of hours, especially when I tried to lift it. This is the most common side-effect, so don’t worry about it! You can put some ice on to numb the pain. The side-effects were worse after I got the first vaccine: around 9 p.m. I felt my heart rate getting higher than usual even though I was resting. I also got headaches, chills, and dizziness, so I took the painkilling drug the doctor had recommended. Half an hour later, all the symptoms ceased, and I was ready for bed.
The next day I was almost as good as new, minus the pain in my left arm, which ultimately went away on the third day.
I got the second dose of the vaccine this Tuesday (at the beginning of May). Everything went on as smoothly as the first time; my vitals were good, and I had no problems after the vaccine. Again, my arm started to hurt a few hours later, but that was the only side-effect I have experienced. Because my acquaintances told me they felt bad after getting the second dose, I braced myself for a sleepless night. Still, I got away surprisingly easy this time.
So, I officially got the COVID-19 vaccine, which I didn’t dream about a year ago when this chaos began. I still haven’t received any messages from Bill Gates, but maybe he’s too busy with the divorce at the moment. The reptilians haven’t contacted me either. Yet. I’m a bit disappointed but also relieved. I will still wear a mask in crowded places, and I won’t attend any major events, at least for a while longer, but I’m content with the fact that I did all that’s in my power to keep me and the others safe.
I am aware that people experience things differently; my family members took the vaccine earlier than me and had all sorts of reactions, from mild to severe. It’s essential to know both the benefits and the risks before making a decision, and I hope I’ve helped by sharing my experience. I was lucky enough to get my vaccine in a clean facility, meet friendly medical staff, and get away with just a few side effects that quickly subsided.
If you want to get the vaccine, I encourage you to do your research on the topic and ask your GP for information or to help you to make the appointment. If you don’t want to do it, all I ask is to take care of your health. Regardless, we all should lend a hand to those suffering or grieving after their battle with COVID-19. It is more than a virus; it’s a major historical event that we can shape through our collective efforts.