Nurse Barb receiving the Moderna COVID 19 vaccination

It was 9 pm, I was getting ready for bed when the text came through. You can sign up for the COVID vaccine now. There’s limited availability, so sign up ASAP. 

My first thought was, “jump on this now.” Tapping on the link on my phone to schedule the appointment, my heart racing because the slots were filling up fast.  I bolted downstairs and popped open my laptop to coordinate my schedule for the next day. Ok, take a deep breath, I could just make it to O’Connor hospital in San Jose in the late morning before my first patient in Mt. View that afternoon. 

So, just a little over 3 weeks after the very first COVID vaccines were given, as they should be, to healthcare workers on the front line, those in ERs, ICUs, Delivery Rooms and those who are most vulnerable, it was time for next wave of people.

I have many different feelings about COVID and the vaccine. I want my front line colleagues to be safely protected. I want teachers, police, fire, postal workers, everyone who has put themselves in harm’s way vaccinated, safe, and protected. I believe in waiting for my turn and making sure that the vaccine goes where it should first.

And yet, every day, I worried that I would become infected while doing everything I could to stay safe. I wondered sometimes, would it be from caring for one of my elderly patients who came in with their caregivers, or perhaps from going to sit with the friend who lost a family member to Covid, or maybe it would come from bringing groceries to a neighbor with Alzheimer’s.  

I’ve talked to a lot of other friends, doctors, nurses, NPs, PAs, Respiratory Therapists, EMTs, Police, Fire, you name it and we all feel the same way. Make sure the people who need this vaccine most get it first, and we’ll wait our turn, but that doesn’t mean we don’t worry about becoming sick, or worse infecting our loved ones.

If you caught my social media post, the actual vaccination didn’t hurt a bit!

Thanks to Nurse Danielle, who expertly administered the first dose of the Moderna vaccine in my left arm. I barely felt a thing and then sat for 15 minutes to make certain that there were no side effects or reactions. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a very low pain tolerance, I can’t even get my eyebrows waxed. And yet, nothing, nada, no pain. Nothing to write home about. Ok, a little soreness if I rub the area. I went off to work and cared for patients for the next 6 hours. Woke up this morning, on a pain scale of 1-10, one being a mosquito bite, 10 being labor and delivery of a baby or passing a kidney stone, this is a 0.5, less than a mosquito bite.

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