Getting my second COVID vaccination

On February 14th I received my first COVID vaccination.  This week, on March 8th, I got the second one.

I’d like to share my impressions here for a few reasons, starting with my customary transparency. Perhaps this little account will be useful as a historical document. More importantly, I hope it encourages people who have chosen not to get a shot to do so, and also to get state, city, and county organizations moving.

tl;dr – successfully got the shot, which gave me a nasty cold, then I was fine.

On February 23, after some anxious waiting, I received an email giving me dates and times to sign up for my second shot. I picked the earlier slot and waited some more.

On this past Monday I drove from home to the Edward L. Kelly Leadership Center, which turned out to be less a bureaucratic node for the county’s K-12 schools and more of a conference center, a modern, spacious, comfortable, and very large site.

Well placed signs and several minders herded us inside. Check-in was easy. There were more reception desks than would-be patients, so I was registered quickly.

corornavirus vax 2_entrance hall

After that, no line awaited me.  Instead, I was pointed to an airy hall filled with vaccination stations, each staffed by two people.

corornavirus vax 2_stations

Another minder pointed me to my table, and the pair there immediately set about giving me the Pfizer jab. The first needle had something wrong with it, and so the staffer carefully noted the wasted dose.  Then in went the second needle, recorded for posterity by the other helpful staffer:

corornavirus vax 2_jab

T-shirt courtesy of Roxanne Riskin

Mission accomplished, band-aid applied, they quickly shooed me into the next room, another big hall.  There another staff member pointed me to some chairs and asked me to wait for 15 minutes in case of any immediate and dire reaction.  Other people waited there, mostly quietly.

corornavirus vax 2_post shot waiting room

I settled in with my Android phone to read more of Braiding Sweetgrass.  After 15 minutes passed and nothing else happened save my arm being slightly and unsurprisingly sore, I took myself to the exit stations lined up at the front of the hall.  The nurse (I think) there gave me detailed instructions as to what to do should any reaction occur, gave me flyers and a sticker, then patiently answered my questions.

corornavirus vax 2_exit table

I thanked her and exited the building into the sunny if chilly afternoon. Then I drove home.

For the first couple of hours I worked on my laptop and didn’t notice any reaction.  My concentration and energy felt normal. Yet gradually a head cold built up, complete with a dripping nose and Wagnerian sneezes.  Things worsened in the evening, so I went to bed early, feeling very cold and hot in alternating waves.

I slept for 11 hours.  Normally I get 6-7, so this was a huge change. My wife reported that I was super warm at times and felt feverish, but that faded by morning.

The rest of the day I felt that I had lower energy than normal. I did several videoconference sessions, including a class, but nobody thought I looked ill.

By yesterday I was fine.  At no time did the injection site bleed or swell up.  Indeed, the cat scratches around it look much more intimidating.

That’s my experience.  I’m fully vaccinated.  I hope the rest of you are able to get the same.

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2 Responses to Getting my second COVID vaccination

  1. Interesting. I’m in Prince William County as well, and supposedly Phase 1-B, but haven’t heard anything about getting my first jab.

    What do you plan to do about outings and so forth now that you’ve had it? Are you less worried about, say, eating in a restaurant, or do you still plan to avoid it? Things like that.

    • Bryan Alexander says:

      It still seems random. I know too many similar folks who haven’t gotten anything. It’s a shambles.

      Going out: I’m going to wait for the required period of time. Then… I’m wondering if I should teach in person this summer.

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