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Hospital employees prepare COVID-19 vaccines in Watkinsville, Georgia on Monday, March 8, 2021. The COVID-19 vaccine clinic located at Piedmont Athens Regional’s Oconee Health Campus vaccinated about 750 employees of Oconee County Schools on Monday. (Photo/Taylor Gerlach; taylormckenziephotography.com)

On March 5, a month after my first dose, I received my second dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a Publix in Johns Creek. It was no walk in the park, but I am grateful I received it. Here is my experience.

My appointment was at 10:30 a.m., and the process to get signed in seemed the same as before. I was handed a piece of paper asking me for some medical history and if I had any extreme symptoms from my first dose. After filling out the paperwork, I had to wait about 15 minutes for the pharmacist to get to me since there was a line.

Once I was ready to get vaccinated, the pharmacists double-checked and asked if I had any extreme reactions to the first dose. I told her I had common symptoms, but nothing too extreme.

After I received the vaccine, I had to wait for 15 minutes to check if I have any side effects — which I didn’t — so I drove back home.

About five hours after getting the vaccination, my arm began to feel sore and swollen, but I had no other symptoms.

At hour eight, I began to feel warm and tired and decided to keep working, as it was not too bad. However, at hour 10 I started to experience immense fatigue, body aches, headaches and a fever of 102 degrees Fahrenheit. This fever soon became off and on with chills later in the night. I took 325 mg of Tylenol which helped break the fever, and I fell asleep.

The next morning, I woke up with a fever again of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and felt really cold along with a massive headache and soreness all over my body. My arm was still swollen, but the soreness in my arm was nothing compared to the headache.

Until noon, I felt these body aches and had a headache and fatigue. My fever had dissipated at about 10:30 a.m. By 1 p.m. I felt completely fine except for some weakness due to the body working so hard in dealing with the vaccination. I drank a lot of water which helped gain back some strength and hydration.

Overall, my symptoms lasted about a day and were more intense than the ones I had with the first dose. However, it was not anything that I couldn’t handle. I reminded myself that I had gotten vaccinated, which would always make me feel better and remind me that I am part of a bigger effort in not only keeping myself safe, but the people and community around me. Getting the vaccination and its symptoms are better than getting COVID-19 itself.

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