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 SDCOE’s Nursing Specialist Reflects on Getting COVID-19 Vaccine

By Corinne McCarthy, RN, MSN
Program Specialist, School Nursing

Because I work as a registered nurse at Rady Children's Hospital, I was one of the fortunate ones to receive my first COVID-19 vaccination in December.

The process went smoothly. I received the Moderna vaccine, getting the first shot in December and the second one in January. Each time, it only took about 30 minutes.

I felt no different after getting the first shot and felt no side effects. The initial injection stung for about two seconds. After that I felt no pain at all. They observed everyone for 15 minutes after the injection just to make sure there were no allergic reactions, and then I was able to go about my day as usual. After my second shot, I felt tired and had body aches and chills, but after getting some good sleep, I felt fine the next day.

Although I feel relieved, I'm not doing anything differently now that I've been vaccinated. I am still following all of the guidance around staying safe from COVID-19. Whether people have been vaccinated or not, it's important to continue keeping yourself and your family safe by wearing a mask, staying home, avoiding gatherings, washing your hands frequently, and monitoring yourself for any symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, or fever.

I know there are some people who may be fearful of the vaccines, and I want to encourage everyone to make the decision that's best for them. It's a very personal decision, but one that I hope everyone will make based on science and the latest knowledge about the virus and the vaccines. One important fact is that it's impossible to get COVID-19 from a vaccination. You can learn more about the vaccines on the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. You can also learn more about when you may be eligible to get the vaccine on the County of San Diego's vaccine information website.