I was able to get the first dose of Moderna during the third week of March and the second dose four weeks later, during the second week of April. Signing up to get an appointment at all was definitely an ordeal. At the beginning of registration for the vaccine, you had to wake up early and get on the website at exactly nine am in order to vie for one of five thousand spots against well over a hundred thousand people. As expected, this did not go very well. It was pretty crazy. Later on, it calmed down, all you had to do now was fill out a form on the CDC website and you would be notified when you could sign up to get the vaccine of your choosing. After that it was pretty simple, all I had to do was remember where and at what time I was supposed to go to get vaccinated.
For the first dose, I went to a senior center about fifteen minutes away from my house. It was pretty disorganized when I first got there. Everyone was sent to a room and people were going in and out pretty frequently. They took half of the room at a time and a few people cut in line. This was mildly irritating because I had been waiting for about forty five minutes in that room and this guy cut in line and got to go in after five. Although, at the end of the day it didn’t really matter, we were all just trying to get the vaccine. Plus my dad was much more annoyed than me. The side effects weren’t terrible after the first dose, just a headache for a couple of days and I was really tired for around the same amount of time. Overall, I just felt weak for a few days. My arm hurt too, but that’s not really surprising.
The second dose was rough. On a positive note, actually getting the vaccine was much more organized. This time, it was at a rec center about ten minutes from my house. Everyone walked through the line and filled out the form. Then you went to the chairs in order, and then went to whichever doctor opened up. After that you moved to the other side of the room for fifteen minutes and then you were good to go. All in all, not bad. Plus my dad bought me food after. Eight hours later though, I felt pretty terrible. I had a really bad headache, I was exhausted, I was nauseous for a bit, and I had chills that were so bad that my whole body was shaking on and off for about two hours. It was not great. It kicked my butt.
All of that being said, I am very fortunate and grateful to have been able to get the vaccine at all, butt-kicking included. I was able to get my first dose in March because in DC, everyone eighteen and older with certain preexisting conditions such as asthma and neurological issues. I’m definitely looking forward to going back to life as usual, especially after President Biden (yay) said that people who were vaccinated did not have to wear masks outside. However, the transition is definitely going to be weird, but I am definitely looking forward to getting to see what people actually look like and getting to go back to school.