Two weeks ago I was privileged enough to receive my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Due to the nature of my job, I was placed in the late phase 1A group per the SC DHEC vaccine distribution plan, and got my appointment scheduled as soon as possible. As a scientist, I felt very honored to be a part of this group and a part of history in the making with this new vaccine.
I’m happy to share my experience and what I’ve learned along the way in order to help others make this decision too.
My Experience With The COVID-19 Vaccine
First, I received an email stating I needed to make an account in the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS).
I answered a few questions and then was brought to a screen to make my appointment. I was given five locations to choose from. Once I chose a location (I chose Prisma main hospital), I clicked on a date and available appointment times were listed. I chose my date and time, and received a confirmation email and text. I also received a QR code to be scanned upon my arrival.
On the day of my appointment I showed up, mask and all, and followed the signs to the large room where nurses and other volunteers where guiding people.
I filled out a consent form, showed my ID, and proceeded to the table where a nurse sat with the vials, needles, and a laptop. She confirmed my identity, wrote down my vaccine info, and administered my shot. It was so easy!
After I received my vaccine, I was instructed to wait for 15 minutes in the room.
There have been a few instances of allergic reactions to the vaccine, so they are asking everyone who gets one to hang around for a while just in case. It felt nice and safe to know I was already at a hospital surrounded by healthcare workers in case I needed anything.
I received a card documenting my first dose c of the vaccine, and instructions on how to schedule my second dose. After waiting my 15 minutes, I left and went back to work.
While I was waiting at the vaccine administration site, I signed up to receive text reminders to document my symptoms via the CDC’s v-safe health checker. (It’s kind of cool to be actively a part of data collection!) Each day I get a text with a link to fill out my symptoms, and it’s all collected and added to the large data set of the Covid-19 vaccine information. Yeah science!
I will get my second dose of the vaccine by the end of the month, and am very grateful to protect myself and others from this terrible disease.
If you’d like more information on South Carolina’s vaccine roll out, you can visit SC DHEC here. If you’d like more information on the vaccines themselves, the CDC’s website has an abundance of information. A great public health professional has a breakdown on the different vaccines on the gram here. Another good follow for information is Friendly Neighbor Epidemiologist– she has a PhD in Epidemiology and breaks down current information in a very comforting way.