For months I have eagerly awaited the availability of a vaccine for me in my area. I live in a village of Chicagoland where you can only currently get the vaccine where you live, not in Chicago or anywhere else in the state. Residents of this village were told to pre-register as soon as January-February, which is what I did. I watched over the past months as the eligibility increased from group 1A, 1B and 1B-plus to everyone 16 and older. I’m sharing my experience getting the Moderna vaccine.
I am signed up for emails from my representative, and it was in her newsletter that I learned that the village was asking everyone who pre-registered to fill out another survey confirming they still needed the vaccine and hadn’t obtained it yet. I did this as soon as I saw her email and within two days I received my email notice from the village that I was eligible to schedule my vaccination appointment at a local clinic being held that week. My hands were shaking as I clicked through the email to select an available time slot. As I clicked confirm, my time slot became unavailable and I began the process over. Still shaking, I rushed through the process of choosing whichever time I could get my hands on.
Two days later, I arrived at the local health department for my 11:40 time slot. I had rushed my husband to drive me to my appointment, saying that he had better not make me late. He assured me that I would be fine. When I arrived, I saw a line snaking its way around a courtyard into the parking lot. An attendant told me to get in line and I would get my shot. The time slots were apparently not important. The line moved quickly, though, and it was a beautiful day to be waiting outside for a shot. I was thrilled to there, no matter how long it took. I made it to the doors, where workers made sure we had paperwork stating we had an appointment. Once that was confirmed, we were directed into another line, where workers then checked our IDs to make sure we live in the village. This is also where we obtained the vaccine information, including possible side effects. After that line we were directed toward an enthusiastic volunteer who asked if I was excited. I sure was. He assigned me to table 15, where two healthcare workers/volunteers asked me a series of questions including whether I felt sick and whether I had COVID-19 within the last two weeks. Once I successfully answered the questions I received my vaccine in the arm I requested. I was given a sticky note with a time on it — 15 minutes from that moment — and directed toward the waiting area, where chairs sat 6 feet apart. A worker monitored those waiting for any immediate symptoms and another person sat at a computer waiting to help anyone make their second appointment while they waited. Once our time was up, we could leave toward the exit, where our QR code on our appointment letter was scanned and where some “I received the COVID-19 vaccine” stickers awaited us.
Overall it was a pleasant experience. I would recommend it, 10/10. I had no major side effects besides arm pain at the injection site for two days. I hear from others that the second dose has minor side effects in some people and I fully expect to feel some of those, but I’m OK with it! Small price to pay to be vaccinated. I hope my experience assures some who might feel nervous about the process. In my opinion everything was well run and easy.