On March 11, I got my first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. I work part-time at a chiropractic clinic, but it’s a very small practice, and the paperwork to get the staff vaccinated was just too much for the office to handle.
Emory had been offering the vaccine to patients who fit the requirements such as people 65 and older, healthcare workers, and first responders. I submitted an application through Emory’s website and marked “healthcare worker.”
A few weeks passed and I thought I had been denied since I only ever visited an Emory doctor once. My mom also works at the clinic and her doctor is an Emory doctor. She got a message telling her she was approved for the vaccine and to call a number to schedule her appointment.
At the end of her call, she asked if I was allowed to call to schedule and the receptionist said yes. Since I was at home for spring break, I called immediately after my mom gave me the number and began scheduling my appointment.
I was asked a series of questions and was reminded a few times that the call was being recorded. I had to verify where I worked, my name, number, and address, and make a statement that I was really a healthcare worker.
The next step was to figure out if I was in the Emory system as a patient. Since my visit was when I was in high school, I wasn’t sure what phone number would be on file. Once I gave all the numbers I could think of, I was able to verify my identity as a patient.
I scheduled my vaccine for the next day and was told to fill out a vaccine screener and a consent form.
The next day, I showed up at the clinic. I was told to wait in my car until I received a text to come inside or if I hadn’t received a text 10 minutes after the appointment time I could walk in.
I never got a text so I went in after my appointment time. The clinic was set up in a closed-down department store in the mall so it had a private entrance and a separate exit.
When I got inside, my temperature was taken and I had to show proof that I had completed the consent form. I was handed a green slip of paper and a card with a group number on it. A volunteer directed me to the waiting area and asked if I could sit in one of the seats in the back so the older patients would not have to walk as far.
The seats were spaced out and there were volunteers all-around to help people fill out forms if they were unable to do so online. After waiting for a while, my group was called up.
I got up and walked over to the walkway and we all stood on dots on the floor to keep our distance. A volunteer told us to have our IDs ready and then we walked to the next area.
We walked past the monitoring area and over to desks where our IDs would be checked. I was asked some more questions and then directed to a line to wait for my shot.
There were cubicles set up with chairs and clocks inside. I walked into the first cubicle and confirmed this was my first shot and answered some more questions.
I got my shot and I didn’t feel anything. I was given a CDC card and a card with the time 10 minutes from when I got the shot and was directed to the monitoring area.
I sat down and placed the time card on the floor. A volunteer came by to give me a pin and another came by to schedule my next shot. After the 10 minutes were up, a monitor volunteer came up and told me I could go.
I didn’t feel any symptoms until a few hours later when I realized my arm was sore to the touch and when I lifted it up. That lasted the rest of the day and the day after.
I never experienced any other symptoms or pains and I felt perfectly fine after that. Overall, my experience was pleasant.
The whole thing was very organized and I could tell things were being taken very seriously. My next shot is scheduled for early April and hopefully, things go just as smoothly.
Everyone will have a different experience with the vaccine, and some will experience more extreme symptoms.