Around Town

Vaccination: Not great, not terrible

As I write this, I am two days out from my second Pfizer shot.

I know many folks are still trying to get their first dose and with a mass vax site opening at the Big E and more appointments and vaccines available, I wanted to share my experience.

Like many people, I tried more than once to get my first appointment. I admit I did not try as hard as many others. I have heard the stories about people having multiple appointment site windows open on their computer – or computerS – and hours of hitting the refresh button. I am far too lazy for that.

I happened to luck out one morning when I logged onto the site at 5:59 a.m. and got right into the scheduling page. I was able to choose from several appointments at the Eastfield Mall for the following week.

When I arrived at the mall (which is about a 25-30 minute drive from Westfield via the pike) it was a little confusing because there were very few exterior signs indicating where to go for the vaccine. As I drove around I found a large digital sign that stated something to the effect of “Wait in your car for your vaccine” so I figured that must be the best entrance.

Inside, the signage wasn’t any better, but the mall is not very large and has numerous empty spaces so finding the site wasn’t difficult. It is in the former Macy’s store in the middle of the mall.

I showed my license and email with my appointment to the person at the entrance and I was ushered in to stand in line, which only took a few minutes. I handed my license and showed the email on my phone to the woman administering the shot. Each table had two people – one who gave the vaccine and another who recorded my information on a laptop. It took mere moments and then I was asked to sit in a waiting area for 15 minutes to make sure I had no immediate adverse reactions and then I was off.

That day, I felt perfectly fine. My arm was barely sore and I went to work without any issues the next day. I noticed that afternoon that I suddenly was overcome with exhaustion. I think I was in bed around 8 p.m. and the next day was tired all day, going to bed again around 8. The following morning I woke up feeling energized and had no other effects.

My second shot process was exactly the same as the first. Felt fine that evening and the next day my arm was more sore and I was tired from the get-go. I became increasingly more tired throughout the day, my arm was still sore and by late afternoon I had a slight headache. By dinner I could barely keep my eyes open and had a low fever. Honestly, I have no idea what my temperature was because I did not check it, but my face was warm to the touch.

My headache persisted and I went to bed at 7:42 p.m. after taking Tylenol. I was fairly miserable at that point and feeling flu-ish.

I woke up the next day feeling much better and an iced coffee helped me get through the workday! Well, that part isn’t new, but I like to think it helped.

All in all, my experience was not great, but not terrible and was more than worth the presumed benefits. I did adhere to the advice of friends and drank lots of water before and after my second dose and made sure I moved my arm around quite a bit.

I hope all of you who choose to be vaccinated have as good –or better – an experience as I did and I wish for good health, betters days and hugs to all!


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