My COVID-19 Vaccine Journey

Updated: Apr 9

A week ago, I had my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. I was hesitant at first because I am going through Immunotherapy sessions twice a week for my chronic allergies. However, my allergist said that it’s safe for me to get a COVID-19 Vaccine. So then, I leaped into faith. On that same day, I received a notification of eligibility. Educators and school staff here in California can begin getting their vaccines from February until now; the priorities are people aged 50 and up, essential workers, educators, and school staff, health care professionals/workers. I booked an appointment and filled out the online form. I received an email two days before my scheduled appointment to check in online. I was asked a few questions, such as if I were tested positive for COVID-19, had COVID-19 symptoms, have shortness of breath, and fever. I answered NO to all these questions, so I was successfully checked in and ready for my appointment.

Please remember:

1. It would be best if you discuss your medical concerns with your Primary Health Physician before your vaccination. If you are scheduling an appointment for your vaccine, tell the vaccination provider if you have:

allergies, fever, bleeding disorder, pregnant or plan to become pregnant, breastfeeding, or have received another COVID-19 vaccine to ensure the vaccine's efficacy.

2. During the vaccine appointment, your nurse will give you a booklet/flyer that contains information about your vaccines, such as common side effects, helpful tips, and helpful information about the COVID-19 vaccine and its use.

It's an essential part of your schedule, getting information and what to expect before and after your shot.

3. What to bring to your appointment:

I.D, Driver's license, Badge, Paystub, and anything that will show proof of eligibility.

Some administering clinics and pharmacies require the patients to download, fill out and print their consent form for the COVID-19 vaccine; you must bring it to your appointment. In my case, I only show my Driver's license and I.D card as a teacher.

What happened during the vaccination appointment?

My appointment was at 8:30 a.m, but I arrived at 8. The facility was so organized and convenient. When I arrived, I was asked for my scheduled time and asked to park and stay in my car until 8:15 to start queuing in. I entered the clinic, and I was shocked when I saw a long line, but it moved fast. The nurse gave me the papers and told me that I would be getting Pfizer. She also asked me if I am pregnant, planning to get pregnant, breastfeeding, feeling sick or healthy, or received any vaccinations. My first attempt of COVID-19 vaccine was at the pharmacy 5 miles away from our home. It was frustrating because it didn't work at all due to my allergy shot. My allergist told me that it's okay to get vaccinated after a week of my immunotherapy, but the pharmacist didn't permit me and told me to wait for two weeks. Well, everything happens for a great reason. I am thankful that it didn't go through because Sutter Health Immunization Clinic was the best. The nurses and the health professionals were so amiable and well-oriented. They made my COVID-19 vaccine experience so much better.

I was so tense before the administering, I saw the needle then I was a bit anxious of what will happen after but the nurse was so lovely, and she calmed down my stress by diverting my attention. She asked me about what I do as a teacher, then she said, "You know your shirt is the other way around." So we laughed about it, and there you go, my first dose is done.

I was asked to wait at the observation area for twenty minutes to report right away if there are side effects such as rash, fast heartbeat, nausea , and difficulty breathing. Thank God I didn’t get any of these symptoms after the vaccine.

How did I feel during and after the vaccine?

The arm of the shot was heavy and painful. It felt like I lifted 15 lbs of weights for thirty minutes but I was able to drive back home safe. It was 9:15 a.m when I arrived home. I felt sleepy and hungry. I was exhausted the whole day. Around 2:00 p.m, I felt a headache that gave me a discomfort so I took an acetaminophen. I registered to V-safe, where CDC can monitor any side effects and symptoms. They send a message every day to check in and let them know how I feel.

Five days later, after my first dose and I didn't see any hives on my body. But my arm still hurt whenever I move it, like carrying my toddler or lifting heavy items. I also feel sleepy and exhausted most of the time which are very common after being vaccinated.

I'm still taking my allergy pill every day, and I drink plenty of fluids. I have to wait for at least a week after my COVID-19 vaccine before getting my allergy shots again.

I had my COVID-19 vaccine because it is one way to protect myself and my family from getting COVID-19. But of course, we still have to do our part in protecting ourselves and others by wearing face coverings and frequent hand washing.

It takes time for our body to absorb the protection after the vaccination. It is vital to understand that we must complete the two shots for us to get the full protection.

I'll be back to the Immunization clinic in two weeks for my second dose. Let's see if there will be any side effects or what will happen. I will keep you posted, my Zsamazing life friends!


Please consult your doctor if you have plans to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Side effects vary and if you think you need a companion or someone to drive for you during the vaccine, ask help from your family member or friends.

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