When I first learned of the COVID-19 vaccine I was a little more than apprehensive. I had questions about how fast it came to be, side effects, reactions, long term effects. I was a hard “no” if you asked me if I was going to get it at first, even as a healthcare worker having daily direct contact with clients. I had to take a step back and ask myself “why,” why was a against it, why was I saying no. I did some soul searching, and here’s what I figured out, I am not against it, in fact I am for it, however I was being fueled by fear in a negative way. I created a pros and cons list, I looked deeper into the fear. There was the fear of the unknown, the fear of a reaction, especially as I have had adverse reactions to western medication before. Fear. It can fuel us, it can drive us, and when we aren’t aware of it, when we don’t call it out, it can prevent us from moving forward. Fear is powerful enough to keep us from achieving our goals, or even attempting to move towards them, and it has the ability to prevent us from living our best lives. It holds the ability to keep us us in a stagnant state, and prevent us from taking advantage of opportunities. I have colleagues and friends who have received it, in fact I didn’t realize how many people in health care at various levels I have in my life. Out of all of them, one had a minor reaction, everyone else reported no issues after other than the expected, sore arm. Some of them also were unsure or against it at first, however they all realized the necessity and did it, and they all have said, they would do it again in a heartbeat. When I first started writing this, I wasn’t sure when I would be able to get the vaccine, I thought possibly next week, or by min-February at least. I was wrong, I am getting it today. When I was first offered the time, I hesitated to say yes, I was a ball of anxiety. I also happen to hate needles, so opting to be stuck is true adulting for me. Here’s the thing, getting the shot isn’t about me, at all. It’s about so much more, something so much bigger than any of us individually. It’s about taking back life, keeping everyone safe, keeping everyone healthy, slowing the spread, doing what’s right, keeping friends, family, co-workers, clients, acquaintances, and strangers safe. It’s the possibility of being able to visit my nana for her 90th birthday, visit my best friend in Texas, and being able to meet and hold my nephew upon his arrival. It’s about doing my part to help all of us, across the globe, be able to stay healthy, and eventually get back to truly living again. In getting the vaccine, it will work with my immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus if I should happen to be exposed.
I will follow the CDC’s recommendations and guidelines, continue washing my hands, utilizing hand sanitizer when hand washing isn’t an immediate option, and of course, wearing a face mask, and social distancing in order to reduce my risk of contracting COVID, or spreading it to others. In order to slow, and eventually stop the pandemic, it requires us to use all the tools that we have available.
As its gets closer to my appointment time, I am less anxious, more relaxed, and hopeful that it will assist us all in putting an end to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The pro and con list I made, there was clearly no real reason for me to decline this opportunity.
1. Keep my family safe
2. Keep my friends and loves ones safe
3. Slow the spread
4. Keep my clients safe
5. Have the ability to travel when it’s safe
6. Keep myself safe
7. Potential immunity or partial immunity
8. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
1. Possibility of reaction
2. Fear of the unknown
Have you received the vaccine? if not, will you when it's available to you? share your thoughts below.