‘It feels like it’s been forever’: Students discuss why they got a COVID-19 vaccine
Junior neuroscience major Katie Clough received both doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. Her reasoning? Simply wanting everything to go back to normal.
“I know that the more people that get the vaccine, the closer we are to going back to normal,” Clough said. “I also want to do my part in protecting everyone else, as well as protecting myself.”
Clough works in a neurotoxicology lab and said any information she wanted to learn about the Pfizer vaccine and how it worked, her mentor at the lab educated her about it. When deciding to get the vaccine, Clough said she never had any worries about the process.
Clough received both of her doses at BB&T Arena. She said the process was easy and only took around 15 minutes total. After Clough’s first dose, she said she never experienced any side effects. After Clough’s second dose, she said she had a low-grade fever the night after she received the dose but was completely fine other than that.
Clough is now fully vaccinated and said one of the first things she will be doing is going to see a movie with her mom in theaters.
“I am still trying to be cautious though,” Clough said. “I’m trying to keep a tally of who in my friend group has been vaccinated and who has not. But it’s super exciting.”
After spending a year in quarantine, Clough said it’s both relieving and strange to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Finally getting the vaccine like a little bit over a full year since we went to lockdown, it’s kind of strange, like, ‘oh, we’re still in this? This is still going on?’ It feels like it’s been forever,” Clough said.
Sophomore social studies education major Chris Roat received the Pfizer vaccine as well. Roat said he wanted to get the vaccine for those who lost loved ones during the pandemic.
“I wanted to do my part to stop the spread and hopefully return to some semblance of normal. I never had a second thought,” Roat said. “I was so eager to get the vaccine; I wanted to protect myself and my community.”
When getting the vaccine, Roat said he was only worried about his productivity if he were to have any side effects.
“I had no concern over any long-term issues with the vaccine. I fully trust the science,” Roat said.
Roat said he only experienced mild fatigue and a headache that went away 12 hours after receiving a dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
“I have a really close relationship with my dad, and I haven’t been able to see him often over the past year, so now that we’re both fully vaccinated it was a great feeling,” Roat said.
Freshman music education major James Renton received both doses of the Moderna vaccine. Renton said he wanted to get the vaccine because he lives in a family with people who are vulnerable to COVID-19. Renton also said he works at a job where he is exposed constantly.
“I did this for the safety of myself, my family and my community,” Renton said.
Renton said he wasn’t worried about the vaccine itself but rather the needle. Renton said he always passed out from needles and was worried about that and having a sore arm.
“My experience was quick because my muscles tensed up. I felt a pinch, but it was not as bad as I had anticipated,” Renton said.
After Renton’s first dose, he had a sore arm and minor sore throat. After the second dose, Renton had headaches, hot and cold flashes and a sore arm. The side effects only lasted 24 hours after the second dose, Renton said.
“I am fully vaccinated, and it is a relief,” Renton said. “I am happy that I am now mostly protected from COVID-19 and I am hopeful for the next few weeks as vaccines are now widely available.”