This is What Happened After I Got Vaccinated

Isaiah McCall

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I didn’t want to get vaccinated this early. I wanted to see how all this played out first. But it happened to me anyway.

There I was, standing in a crowded gymnasium interviewing the CEO of a local hospital for a piece of breaking news. All of a sudden he says to me, “Hey, if you want to get vaccinated today, we can do it for you.”

I froze.

As a Black man, I heard the debates among my own family members against COVID-19 vaccines. My sister was scared it may make some people infertile. My cousin believed it was the reason that Hank Aaron died. These were all pragmatic, logical people in everything else — but vaccines made them fearful.

The fear among minorities is real. There’s a reason why prominent Black figures come out and voice their support for them. Many people in my community are adamantly against getting vaccinated.

I won’t lie to you, there was a voice in my head that said “don’t do it.”All the conspiracies were getting to me. But I told that CEO yes and went along for the ride.

I hate needles

When I was little I’d turn white at the sight of needles. One time I passed out while giving blood and doctors had to resuscitate me with donuts to get my blood sugar back up. I was very happy after that.

Still, I wasn’t looking forward to getting a vaccine needle plunged into my arm. Old childhood fears never go away. But I wasn’t turning back.

Now, my only concern was the side effects.

So I sat down in an uncomfortable green chair adjusted my ball cap and took a deep breath. This could be the end of my life I thought. Minutes before the town deputy mayor had joked with me that he grew six toes after his vaccine.

“What if he was telling the truth and he’s in on the conspiracy?” I thought to myself.

Before I could overthink it any longer, the nurse’s eyes flashed and she asked if I was ready. I figured I might as well go all out and get a selfie documenting the whole crazy thing.

I told her to go ahead.

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My experience after the vaccine

The nurse plunged the needle into my arm and not two seconds later, I was done. It probably took longer for her to put on the bandaid after.

She gave me my slip to get a second dosage of Pfizer and I was sent away. It was very straightforward, and honestly quite pleasant.

Now, my only concern was the side effects. As someone who experienced horrible seasonal allergies growing up, I expected the worst. And let me tell you, the worst was miserable, horrible, unthinkable!!

I had mild soreness in my left arm — that’s about it. It felt kind of cool in a weird way. Like as though I had received my software update and was rebooting my systems.

I’m now a superhuman, in case you were wondering.

Your experience may vary

I don’t say that to scare you. But my friend who’s a 21-year-old paramedic got the Moderna vaccine and felt terrible after. He recovered over the next few days, but it showed me that this is going to be a very scary period for a lot of us.

That CEO of the hospital I was at actually offered my 86-year-old grandmother to get the vaccine instead of me and, unfortunately, my grandma turned it down out of fear. Once again, the fear amongst minorities is real, and it’s based on a lot of history.

I know we’re in a rush to get back to “normal,” but I think we need to be more strategic and transparent about these vaccines. The news should be breaking down every aspect of these drugs so that we feel comfortable and safe taking them.

Pew Research published a poll revealing 39% of people say they definitely or probably won’t take the vaccine, though almost half that group said they might change their minds if more information becomes available.

We fear what we do not understand. I convinced my grandmother to get a vaccine because she saw I wasn’t harmed. Although I know experiences can vary and I try to give her more information as I find it. Hopefully, more authority figures in the scientific and political spaces can step up to the plate and explain more about these vaccines.

We need an “explain like I’m five” public lecture to ease the minds of many Americans. Especially because it’s about time we stop letting fear govern our lives.

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USA Today Reporter and Ultramarathoner. I write about Cryptocurrency, Fitness Hacks, and Greek Philosophy. Also a diehard Trekkie | mccallisaiah@gmail.com

Jersey City, NJ
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