Journal of the (Covid-19) Plague Year: I Got the Vaccine

On April 13th, I got the vaccine.

I went to Independence Ohio, where the Cleveland Clinic has a mass vaccination center. Upon entering the driveway, I saw signs directing drivers to drive towards the traffic cones. At first I thought I was going to get a shot in my car, but the cones directed us around to the other side of the building. An attendant told me where to park the car and where to enter the building.

As soon as I entered the building, I found the kiosks to check in, just as I do for my regular doctors appointments. Someone took my temperature before leaving the vestibule.

After the vestibule, a health care worker asked me if this was my first or second appointment. I said that it was my first. She told me that I would be getting the Pfizer Vaccine, and asked me to walk towards a line of people. To the left of the line, I saw rows of cubicles. Another worker directed us towards one of the rows. I walked down the row and a woman waved me into an open cubicle. She asked me if this was my first or second vaccine, and checked off the appointment on her computer. She asked me if I had any allergies; I said no.

She then pulled out the syringe with the dose. The needle seemed longer than I expected. Normally, needles don’t bother me, but for some reason, I couldn’t look at it. I kept my gaze straight ahead while she gave me the injection. It burned more than other injections I have had. The woman gave me my vaccine card, which is marked with the date of my first shot. After that, she directed me out the other end of the row, and said that a woman would give me a timer.

A woman greeted me on the other end of the row and handed me a timer set to 15 minutes. She instructed me to walk down the hall to a large, open, waiting room. It was only then that I fully realized how many vaccines the Cleveland Clinic was doing in that location. I think I saw about 60 chairs set up in rows, spaced out 6 feet apart. I sat in a chair and waited for the timer to go off. Once it went off, I was free to leave.

I felt incredibly tired the rest of the day, but that could have been exhaustion from pandemic burnout and relief. My arm was very sore for a couple of days, but it was nowhere near as sore as it is after a Tetanus shot.

I get my second dose the first full week in May.


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