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My Overall Feelings/Reaction to COVID Vaccine

A couple of days ago I received my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine . Initially, I was very scared as many of us are during such uncertain times. I know that when the vaccine first came out, I was very hesitant as to whether I wanted to get it since I was scared that there would be negative side effects. I have never really cared for needles nor was I scared of them so that wasn’t an issue for me, but I always dealt with arm pain so just for that I was a little scared. Now here is how my COVID vaccination appointments went.

covid vaccine one bottle
Photo by Daniel Schludi from Unsplash


I got my COVID vaccine a little far from my house. I got mine at Cal Poly, Pomona since at the time that I was getting my first vaccine it was one of the closest places offering it for me.

First dose

It took me about an hour and a half to get to the school. Once we got there, we followed the signs (which weren’t complicated) to reach the parking lot. Here rather than it being a drive-thru vaccination place, we had to walk up to the little booths. It was inside of a parking complex so it wasn’t too much walking, but we did wait about twenty minutes in line while they checked us in and got us our dose.

After getting checked into a booth I conversed with the nurse for a little bit before they brought over my specific dose. The nurse who was helping me cleaned my arm with alcohol and then told me to relax and put the needle in my left arm. It felt like a small pitch and she immediately put on a bandaid. After that, she gave me a sticker that had a specific time written on it that showed when I was allowed to learn. The sticker had a time that was 15 minutes ahead of when they had put my vaccine just so they could see if I had any serious side effects. After about fifteen minutes, I still felt fine and so I made my way. 

The entire process of getting the vaccine wasn’t difficult nor stressful. The only bad thing that happened after this first dose was that my arm was very sore. It was difficult to carry things with my left arm and moving it around that first day was a little hard, but it was gone by the next morning.

COVID Vaccine
Photo by Daniel Schludi from Unsplash

Second dose

The distance to get my second dose was still the same as the first, but it did take a little longer to get there due to traffic. Once I got to the school, I parked a lot slightly farther than the first time so there was more walking. The wait to get checked in and get vaccinated wasn’t too long, as the most 5 minutes waiting to get everything set and within the next five minutes, I had been vaccinated. This dose was much less painful, very close to not feeling it and it happened very quickly. 

I then went to go sit for about 15 minutes to see if anything serious happened. I was fine and so I left. I got my vaccine around 12:30 pm so as the day went on my arm began to hurt much more and feel much sorer. Sleeping on my left arm was impossible since it was very painful. The next day I felt very weak and I had weird pains in different parts of my body. I kept getting chills throughout the day so around 3 pm I took a nap to see if I felt better once I woke up. After waking up I was still slightly tired, but much better than before.

woman lying in white bed
Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy from Unsplash

Overall Thoughts:

My overall thoughts were that it was just the same as any other vaccine. The other difference was how difficult it was to get an appointment as well as not knowing how much the body would react. Thankfully, it wasn’t too bad and the most I had to deal with was a sore arm and chills.

Ashleen Herrarte

UC Riverside '23

Ashleen is a third-year Political Science and Philosophy major. When she is not writing articles for HCUCR, she is usually spending time with friends by going out to eat yummy foods or watching shows at home. She hopes you enjoy reading her articles!
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