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Covid-19 Vaccination: Pt. 1

As the vaccine becomes readily available to more of the general population, mass vaccination sites are popping up all over the country. Several pharmaceutical companies threw their hats into the ring in order to develop a safe vaccine with a high percentage rate of efficacy. Every state has a roll-out plan that differentiates from the next. As such, we live in the state of Virginia; and we made sure to preregister for the shot on the Vaccinate Virginia website (https://vaccinate.virginia.gov/preregister.html#verify). Once we were preregistered, we were sent a weekly reminder notifying us that we would receive a link to schedule our first vaccine in the near future.

Personal photo of Kervin Aucoin

The United States itself has multiple vaccines that are authorized and recommended by the Center for Disease Control to aid in protection from Covid-19: Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson. While not one vaccine is recommended over the other, there are different requirements, amount of shots, and maturation times for each.


People 16 years and older are able to get this vaccine. The two shots are given 3 weeks (21 days) apart. You are considered to be fully vaccinated by two weeks after you take the second shot.


People aged 18 and older are eligible to get this vaccine. It consists of two shots given 4 weeks (28 days) apart. You are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after the second shot.

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen:

People over the age of 18 are cleared to take this vaccine. It consists of one shot, and you are fully vaccinated two weeks afterward. However, there has been a pause in the administering of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine due to the possibility that it causes potentially dangerous blood clots.

Personal photo of Tiana Aucoin

After a couple months of waiting, we finally received the e-mail link in order to schedule our first vaccines. We signed in and were able to chose a time in order to fit our bustling schedule. We chose and confirmed our vaccination time of 9:15 AM. We were informed that we needed to show up no earlier than fifteen minutes before our scheduled time in order to maintain social distancing. It was also stated that we would be receiving the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Personal photo of Kervin Aucoin

Our mass vaccination site was inside an old Gander Mountain Outdoor store. There were clear signs marking where we needed to go, and multiple people were lined up in order to check our ID’s and vaccination confirmation codes. Given that it was so early in the morning, the crowd was thin and easy to navigate. Everyone was able to remain socially distant during the process. Upon entering the building, we simply followed the clearly marked signs. Someone greeted us and directed us to a representative in order to answer simple questions regarding Covid-19 symptoms and infection. There were also several questions about allergies and the possibility that we could be allergic to one of the vaccine's components. There were plenty of helpful volunteers who directed each person to a cubicle. After we completed the survey, we were directed to walk to one of many numbered nurse stations. It was here that we were administered the first vaccine.

Personal photo of Tiana Aucoin

Once we received the shot, we were ushered to a designated seating area. Every person was instructed to remain seated in this area for a total of fifteen minutes in order to ensure that there are no adverse reactions to the vaccine. Once the time lapsed, we were free to exit the building and continue on with our day. All-in-all, the entire process took less than an hour.

Personal photo of Tiana Aucoin

As far as symptoms go, there was only soreness at the injection site. Otherwise, we were good to go! The vaccination procedure was streamlined and simple. There were plenty of volunteers and nurses to direct you to the different stations. While the vaccine is not mandatory, it will probably be a requirement in the future in order to travel internationally. While the timeline of the vaccine roll-out took longer than we anticipated, the actual process of getting the shot was simple and barely put a dent into our day.

A couple days after our initial shot, we got another text message and e-mail with a link. This was so that we could schedule our second vaccine. We made sure to schedule it for earlier in the day. While we had no symptoms from the first shot, things can be quite different for the second shot. We will find out if there will be more severe symptoms in due time.

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