Students begin getting vaccinated

For many, being fully vaccinated means a new beginning to come


On April 18, all Virginians ages 16 and older became eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine.
Many students rushed to register for an appointment as soon as possible, eager for the chance to be able to finally do the things they’ve been putting on hold since the beginning of the pandemic.
“I had to sit there for a while and refresh the page. I had to make multiple accounts on Walgreens and Giant,” senior Anjum Ashraf said. “I am excited to be vaccinated and see my friends again and go back to some sense of normalcy.”
Other students got vaccinated earlier, either because of their status as an essential worker or because of a health condition, or both.
“I qualified for a vaccination in January because I work in person in D.C. and am in an immunocompromised state,” senior Zainab Islam said.
Most students will have received the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine since it’s been cleared for those ages 16 and older while Moderna and Johnson and Johnson have been cleared only for those ages 18 and older.
Some were nervous about the physical experience of getting vaccinated.
“I have a low pain tolerance so I was a bit afraid of getting the shot at first,” senior and Academics Editor Thonny Anwar said. “It ended up being nothing. I turned my head for a second and it was over.”
Most seem to be in consensus that the first dose of the vaccine comes with some mild symptoms.
“I had soreness around the vaccination site and a fever for two days,” Islam said.
The second dose is where students start to experience more severe symptoms.
“I had a really high fever and a headache that lasted about five days,” Islam said.
Those who have only received the first dose so far may be feeling a bit of anxiety about what’s to come in the second dose.
“I am worried about the pain I will experience after because I have heard the second shot is worse,” Anwar said.
However, the CDC states that experiencing these symptoms after getting vaccinated is to be expected and nothing to worry about. If these symptoms persist, one should contact their primary care physician.
Those still looking to register to get vaccinated can scan the QR code to go to where they can find clinics, pharmacies, and other locations offering the vaccine.
The website also allows users to sort by which vaccine(s) they want to receive and the search radius can be either 1, 5, 10, 25 or 50 miles.
If vaccine appointments are still not showing up, it’s a good idea to directly check the websites of pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Safeway.
Being fully vaccinated carries the promise of a summer with some semblance of normal after more than a year of isolation and virtual instruction.
“The colleges I’m leaning toward have decided to be fully in person next semester so unless a strong variant emerges between now and fall, I feel pretty safe going to class in person,” Islam said.
But, before that, seniors are hoping for one last hurrah.
“I’ll be fully vaccinated by June 1, so I’m excited for graduation and to have a good time with all my friends,” Ashraf said.