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Moderna: My Experience Getting My First Shot

Disclaimer: These views are based on my experience and opinions only. Consult your medical professional if you have any questions or concerns about any vaccine.

A dozen vaccines have been authorized for emergency use around the world with many still remaining in the development stage. Since COVID-19 vaccinations began in the United States in December, around 237 million doses have been administered, with 30% of the U.S population being fully vaccinated.

When the Moderna vaccine became available at my university, I signed up to have my first shot in mid-April and wanted to write about my experience with the first dose of the Moderna shot.

Scheduling an appointment was very quick and easy, and I received a lot of informational pamphlets and handouts prior to consenting to get vaccinated. Plenty of nurses and medical professionals were also present on sight to answer any questions and ensure the health and safety of all faculty, staff, and students. I got the shot on my left shoulder and was told to wait in a separate room for 15 minutes to monitor in case of any adverse reactions. Water and snacks were provided. After 15 minutes, I was checked on to see how I was feeling and whether or not I had any additional questions before being allowed to leave after scheduling my second shot in four weeks.

Because I already contracted COVID back in March, I was told my side effects from the vaccine would be a bit more prevalent and I should be prepared for that. They were not wrong, I experienced fatigue an hour after getting vaccinated, and experienced a high fever, headache, and fatigue towards the end of the day and it lasted two days. I also had swelling of the vaccinated area—my arm—but that also disappeared after 3-4 days. This was my body’s way of amping up antibody production by triggering an immune response.

On day one my symptoms had improved, but the headaches and fatigue were still prevalent and I had trouble being productive. The symptoms remained constant throughout day two, with fatigue still being prevalent, but the fever and headaches started to disappear. My symptoms fully disappeared on the third day and I felt a lot better and was able to get back to work. Getting plenty of rest, taking vitamin C, and staying hydrated helped me a lot with the recovery process.

Overall, my side effects lasted two days and were more prevalent mainly because I had already contracted COVID before. I have friends who did not experience any side effects at all and others who experienced milder versions. If you have any questions about any COVID-19 vaccine, consult your doctor to ensure you are well informed about the vaccine and what to expect after getting your shot. As a nation, we are hopeful that lives, businesses, and jobs can be saved through vaccinations. With optimism in the air, we may be getting a step closer to getting back to normal.

Mukobe Lukwesa

Washington '21

Mukobe Lukwesa is a senior majoring in cell & Molecular Biology at Central Washington University, and she is a writer for Her Campus CWU. Some of her hobbies include writing, cooking, science, and traveling. Along with her studies, she is also doing undergraduate research and is hoping to graduate in the spring of 2021.
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