I Got My First Vaccine Shot and Here’s What Happened
In the interest of full disclosure, I got my first COVID vaccine shot on Sunday and I want to let you know what happened.
First of all, please know that in order to get the vaccine, I "jumped through all the hoops" that everyone else has to jump through. I didn't get "onto the list" for the first shot because I'm a radio personality or anything like that.
I also don't know why it was "my turn." The state of New Jersey told be I could go ahead and get vaccinated, so I did.
I received my shot Sunday morning at the Atlantic City Convention Center - one of the state's "Mega Sites."
My goal here is to let you know how I went about getting vaccinated, how I got my appointment, and what has happened since I received my shot.
My vaccine journey began about 4 weeks ago when I registered for the vaccine here. Basically, i followed the link and inputted my personal information, I had to list any "pre-existing conditions" and things like that.
The next day I received an email back from the state's health department, acknowledging that that received my information and would be in touch when it was time to schedule my first shot.
For the next two weeks, nothing.
Then, finally, I received the email I had been waiting for: I could schedule my shot! (I actually thought my shot would be scheduled for me, bu that was not the case.)
The good news was that I had their permission to schedule my shot appointment. The bad news was that there were no appointments available anywhere in the state. The email said the state would send me notice when appointments were available,
At this point I haven't heard back from the state. Good thing I didn't wait on them.
In their email, the state had included a list of links to all the agencies and locations where the vaccinations were being done. They said I was welcome to go ahead and try to schedule my own shot.
I went through the list, focusing on about a 4 county area around me.
I spent about 30 minutes clicking on each and every location. On every one, I received one of two messages. Either they weren't currently taking appointments and they were full, or they hadn't even received any vaccinations yet, so they hadn't started taking appointments. Jeez....
One site - for the Atlantic City Convention Center, did indicate they would start taking appointments again the following Tuesday at 3pm.
I knew this wouldn't be easy.
Working with two different laptops I logged into the appointment site about 2:50pm. I was informed that the site wasn't taking appointments until 3pm, but I would be placed in line in the order I was logged in. (I was told I have 3,157 people ahead of me!)
Needless to say, I didn't think I would make it. I thought I'd be cut off. Thankfully, I was wrong, After 35 minutes, I was making my appointment.
I will say the website was pretty good - every 30 seconds or so, it let me know where I was in line, and I was able to see progress. I did not refresh the page, for fear I'd get kicked out of my place in line.
I was a little ticked off that the "waiting line" began before 3pm. I assumed the process would begin at the indicated time. I was wrong. My tip to you if you're trying to make an appointment: Log on early, and be prepared to wait it out.
So, Sunday morning came around and it was time to get vaccinated.
My appointment was at the Atlantic City Convention Center. You can pull right into the parking garage, and they are not charging a fee.
No need to get there way ahead of time. You'll have to wait outside (but in the garage) until you're within 15 minutes of your appointment.
At that point, they let you into the building, and you start the process. I must admit, they really have the process down and everyone knows what they're doing. There are a lot of National Guard personnel helping, and that's great to see. AtlantiCare is running the operation, and, again, it's all very smooth. After registering, going through some questions and such, I got my shot. That was followed by 15 - 30 minutes of down time. You're asked to take a seat just to make sure you don't have any immediate reactions to the dose. I was fine, as was everyone else that I witnessed. Before they let you go home, they book your appointment for your second shot, and you're on your way.
Repeating: everything went very smoothly. I was very impressed. Yes, all kinds of safety precautions were observed.
Here's an update of how I felt after the shot. I'll update this list for 48 hours after my shot. (More if I experience anything unusual.) You're welcome to check back on my progress.
Sunday 8:15am - Received my vaccination.
Sunday 10am - I feel total normal.
Sunday 6:15pm - A pretty normal afternoon. Kind of forgot about getting the vaccine. My arm, in the area I got the shot, is a little tender, but that's all. I wouldn't even go so far as to say it's "sore."
Monday 2:45am - I woke about 30 minutes earlier than usual. Probably because I got a lot of sleep, including a nap Sunday afternoon. This is not unusual, as (during the pandemic) Sunday is usually my "sleep a lot day."
Monday 3:45am - I feel completely normal. If I touch the spot of the injection, it's still slightly tender.
Monday 10am. - Feeling fine.