by Monica Smith | staff writer
The COVID-19 vaccine is now available for front-line healthcare workers, residents in long-term health facilities, and people over the age of 65 with at least one chronic medical condition. A vaccine offered to the general public is not yet available.
“I learned on Christmas Eve that HEB was taking appointments for the school nurses to receive the vaccine,” Johnson nurse Karen East said. “I immediately called an HEB pharmacy and was given the next available appointment which was on December 27.”
The procedure of the vaccine is much similar to a regular trip to the doctor’s office for more common vaccinations like the flu shot.
“It was like receiving other vaccines- an injection to the upper arm,” East said.
Unlike other vaccines, the COVID-19 shot requires two doses in order for it to be effective. While the first shot does give some immunity from the virus, it’s critical to take the second dosage as it guarantees stronger protection
“I haven’t gotten the second vaccine yet,” East said. “You have to wait 28 days between the first and second doses.”
In response to the vaccine, it is possible the body will experience mild symptoms. These are to be expected after taking it.
“The only side effects that I experienced were a very sore arm and increased tiredness for two days,” East said.
Because the vaccine is only limited to certain groups of people, it’s still recommended to social distance, wear a mask, and wash hands frequently.
“I think it is important to not only protect my health, but it will ultimately protect my family and friends as well,” East said.