Closeup of a Black man getting a shot in his arm. He is wearing a mask, and the medical worker is in protective gear.

I Faced Down Fear and Misinformation to Get Vaccinated

Closeup of a Black man getting a shot in his arm. He is wearing a mask, and the medical worker is in protective gear.

By Ronvel Sharper

The vaccination process has always been controversial. Some people believe vaccines actually plant microchips in people; some worry about possible side effects; and some just do NOT like shots. I am in the last group, and yet here I am typing this as a vaccinated person. What made me desire to get vaccinated?

>>>Read: With Line Moving, Some Question Getting COVID-19 Vaccine

Well, fear of getting hurt can only deter you for so long. Sure, shots hurt, seeing blood irks me, and I absolutely detest the idea of voluntarily making myself sore. However, once you look at the big picture, and even knowing people who have suffered through COVID-19, I realized that many people — even some in my own circle of friends — have really downplayed the virus.

One person, in particular, who had COVID ended up contracting a lung disease from it, and for a time her family thought she was going to die. She was sent to the ER because for weeks she could not breathe on her own. Needles were forced under her skin, right under her knuckles, and all the while she could not move. What’s worse is the fact that she could not contact anyone; she was completely isolated for weeks — all because COVID was impacting her lungs.

>>>Read: My Cousin Didn’t Think COVID-19 Was Serious. Then He Ended Up in the Hospital.

As an asthmatic person, that got me thinking about just how terribly COVID could affect me. I mean, my lungs are already weak, my stamina is subpar, and I have to push myself a bit harder than others when it comes to certain physical activities. So, in all honesty, even if I had no intentions to take the vaccine in the first place, what would I do if I DID get infected? Would I be sent to the ER? Would I be in so much agony that I would be begging for death to greet me for weeks on end? Would death himself be right next to me waiting for the light of life to finally extinguish from my eyes?

Thoughts like these ran through my mind endlessly. I had already decided I wanted to get vaccinated, but it would be a lie to say that doubts and worries did not wander in my head every now and again.

>>>Read: ‘Time Will Always Tell’: Doctor Addresses Coronavirus Vaccine Concerns

With all the misinformation going around, it is so easy to find yourself mixed up on what is wrong and what is right. When it comes to what one puts in their body, it is prudent to read up as much as you can. Anyone can call themselves an expert these days, but when in doubt, consult an actual expert or look for sources that are verified to be factual. It’s what I did, and after enough reading, I decided that getting vaccinated was the best move for me.

>>>Read: Black Californians Urged to ‘Trust Science,’ Get Vaccinated

So when I was emailed that I was eligible to get vaccinated in March, I took no time to book the first shot. I was lucky enough to get vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, and well, for the first time, I had no issues aside from the typical sore arm for a few hours. In the nearly monthlong wait for the second dose, my mother has had her second dose. She has voiced her frustrations over a headache and other side effects.

Not only that, I also heard people say the second dose was when things really started to get bad in terms of side effects, so I began to worry. So here comes April, the day of my second dose is here. I get ready, get injected, and expect the worst, right? Well, I got baited in the best way possible. Nothing happened, aside from — you guessed it, a sore arm. I felt pretty good. I stayed in the lobby room for 15 minutes and walked home. No weird feelings, no weird side effects.

All in all, though, judging from my own experience and my mother’s? Maybe the experience is different for everyone. Perhaps it is a sort of placebo effect where if you really believe that you’d get some weird side effects from it, they would actually manifest for you? I have no clue, but now that I am vaccinated, I know I am helping society heal from the impacts COVID has had on us all.

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