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Nevada Today

Nevada Today is a nonpartisan, independently owned and operated site dedicated to providing up-to-date news and smart analysis on the issues that impact Nevada's communities and businesses.

COVID-19FeaturesHealthNews and information

My COVID-19 Vaccine Experience: Booster

COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccines, vaccine science, health care

It’s been over six months since my second COVID-19 vaccine dose. Last time we came here, we reflected on the 2020 hellscape that gave an unwelcome encore performance in 2021. This time, we dish on my COVID-19 vaccine booster experience.

Yes, I really did get my booster shot last Friday. Here’s what happened.

WARNING: Today’s story contains some adult language. Reader discretion is advised.
COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccines, vaccine science, health care
Photo by Andrew Davey

In April, I got both of my COVID-19 vaccine doses. In May, I officially became fully vaccinated. In June, I began to travel again. In July, I took flight again but this time a little more nervously. In August, a final summer trip turned to absolute shit amidst the Delta Surge and a family member who died during this surge.

Yesterday, we walked through the rock-solid scientific evidence behind COVID-19 vaccine booster shots. Between that and the broad availability of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine boosters, I decided to go ahead and do it as soon as I qualified. Once I became eligible last week, I went ahead and made my appointment.

This time, I booked at a local pharmacy. The pharmacy sent me an advertising email featuring COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, so I just took full advantage. 

What was it like at the pharmacy?
COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccines, vaccine science, health care
Photo by Andrew Davey

Since I had to take care of an additional health care matter at the pharmacy, they requested my health insurance information. This is one big difference from my original vaccination experiences in April, when site workers and volunteers never even asked for insurance. However, keep in mind that the federal government policy remains that patients will not have to pay any out-of-pocket fees for COVID-19 vaccines – even booster shots.

Still, as we’ve previously noted on these pages, the state of America’s broken health care system seeps into our everyday lives in ways that range from annoying inconveniences to absolute life-threatening outrages. Fortunately for me, it was merely the former. Unfortunately for millions of Americans, the latter is a real phenomenon that hurts our entire system.

I just waited and waited at the counter. I kept waiting as pharmacy technicians were having trouble with the electronic system they were using to input and verify my health insurance information. I tried my best to remain patient as they checked my insurance records, then as they gave me a final round of paperwork to fill out. 

Eventually, I finally got my booster shot. 
COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccines, vaccine science, health care
Photo by Andrew Davey

After I finished the paperwork, the pharmacy directed me to the waiting area, where I needed to finish the last round of paperwork and wait for a pharmacist to come out with my “jabs”.

Eventually, the pharmacist emerged with my booster shot and directions for me to move into another area. Even though I’ve already done this twice before, I still felt a little jittery upon noticing the needle. 

Nonetheless, I just chilled the fuck out and froze in place. Within seconds, “the jab” happened. The pharmacist gave me my updated vaccination card (no, I’m still not posting it!), provided my receipt, and confirmed that my bill came out to a simple $0.00. 

What happened after the booster? At first, I hardly felt it. Then, I really felt it!

Photo by Andrew Davey

When I first returned home, I hardly felt different. Still, I remembered what happened last time. I cleared my schedule for the weekend in order to have enough time for recovery. 

Yep, I knew I needed that recovery time. By Friday afternoon, I started to doze off. Within hours, the sore spot (where I got “the jab”) really flared up with some tight pain. By Saturday morning, I had difficulty stepping out of bed. As Saturday wore on, I didn’t even leave my home. 

All in all, the vaccine side effects felt stronger following the booster shot than the first two shots in April. Nonetheless, I made it out of the house to walk and do errands Sunday morning. Then on Monday, it was back to normal. 

If you want, just take it from me. Vaccine booster shots aren’t scary. Rather, they take an already effective path to protect oneself and make it even more effective.
COVID-19, COVID-19 Vaccines, vaccine science, health care
Photo by Andrew Davey

Now that we’re finally starting to get some sound data from Israel on COVID-19 vaccine booster shots, we can see how these work. Bottom Line: They work, and they work quite well. If you qualify for a booster, this is a great way to enhance your protection. If you’re not as high-risk, there’s no reason to take the existence of booster shots as something to fear.

Though my own booster experience did not amount to completely smooth sailing, I ultimately can’t complain about the final destination. The side effects are all gone, and my only out-of-pocket cost was for a Lyft ride home from the pharmacy. I’m now triple-vaxxed, and I’m just hoping for a better ride ahead. 

If you have further questions about COVID-19 and your health, check Immunize Nevada for more information on vaccine availability in your area, check Nevada Health Response for testing in your area, and check Nevada 211 for more health care resources. If you’re in need of additional aid, check the Nevada Current’s and Battle Born Progress’ resource guides. If you can afford proper treatment and you are fortunate enough to help others in need, please donate to larger operations like Direct Relief and Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, and to local groups like Three Square. And for goodness sake, please maintain best practices to help stop the spread.

The cover photo was taken by me.

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