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We're now three months into the vaccination process to fight the coronavirus. Still unsure about getting your vaccine? Here are some amazing testimonies.

Essential workers explain what getting the coronavirus vaccine is really like

Many states are in phase 1B of getting the long-anticipated vaccine for the novel coronavirus, a disease that was believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, in the Fall of 2019, making its way to the U.S as well as other parts of the world by Spring 2020. Today, it’s safe to say that the COVID-19 global pandemic, which we’re still in unless you’re Texas or Mississippi is one that we’ve been dying to get out of. 

Now, with three vaccines being used to help combat the coronavirus, we’re starting to see numbers go down as it pertains to not only deaths & hospitalizations, but positive cases overall. And while now might not be the time to take our foot off the gas in terms of practicing social distancing, it’s clear that, should all go accordingly, we may see life as we once knew it by the fourth quarter of 2021. 

However, it’s imperative that people willingly get themselves a coronavirus vaccine, when able. Establishing herd immunity, which would take an estimated 85+% of the U.S. in order to create a safety net, is crucial in ending the global pandemic. That being said, we’re understanding of those who might be scared at getting the quickly produced vaccine. For now, go to the back of the vaccination line, and listen to these testimonies. 

What vaccines are available? 

Currently, there are three vaccines that are being utilized in the U.S. to fight the spread of COVID-19, aiming to put a stop to the current global pandemic. The first vaccine, developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, was first administered in the U.S. in early December 2020. The second vaccine to fight COVID-19 was developed by Moderna, which was also first given to those defined as “high exposure risks” last Christmas. 

Both of these coronavirus vaccines are estimated to fight the coronavirus with an effectiveness rate of over 93%. Both vaccines currently require two separate doses, with each needing several weeks in between to build the proper antibodies for protection against the deadly disease. 

Last month, the world was given the incredible news that the FDA was currently reviewing a third coronavirus vaccine, this time developed by Johnson & Johnson. This vaccine, while not as efficient as Pfizer & Moderna, is said to have an effectiveness rate of over 85%, and only requires a single shot, which is huge in terms of rallying our way towards herd immunity. Now, with CDC approval, the third vaccine has been greenlit! 

Where do you get a coronavirus vaccine? 

Most states currently offer mass drive-thru vaccination sites should you meet the current vaccination criteria. Examples of these large vaccination sites include local zoos, arenas, stadiums, malls, and even theme parks like Disneyland

As of now, CVS & Walgreens are also administering the first two coronavirus vaccines, as the current Johnson & Johnson vaccine has only shipped four-million doses to the U.S. This number, however, should rise in the forthcoming weeks. As for now, it’s important to contact your health provider and see when & if you qualify.

Who’s eligible for the coronavirus vaccine? 

During the first initial months of the vaccine, it was made clear by most states that the priority was to vaccinate two specific populations: The elderly & healthcare workers. Today, while it varies state-by-state, those who are categorized in phase 1B should be able to get their vaccine for the coronavirus. People in this category include teachers, first responders, transportation workers, and those above sixty-five. 

As the months progress and the systems-in-place continue to sharpen, it should become easier to schedule your own appointment to receive a vaccine for the coronavirus. 

Hear the testimonies

SFGATE in San Francisco recently interviewed a slew of essential employees regarding their experience getting the coronavirus vaccine. Here’s what some of them had to say: 

“The process was really quick — we were in and out in 30 minutes,” said Bo Pimpat Prasert, a kitchen manager at an Oakland restaurant. “It didn’t hurt … I’m really scared of needles and I didn’t feel anything at all.” 

“When I got the appointment, I literally was crying because I was so happy and so excited,” said Ethan Bridges, an assistant manager at a San Fran Whole Foods store. He continued on:

“And then once I was actually vaccinated, I was walking down Noriega looking at my little vaccine record card, and it felt like the scene in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when Charlie finds a golden ticket. And he’s so stoked and he’s like, ‘This happened to me? Little old me?’” 

Lastly, we hear from Mike Raskin, an Alameda butcher who recently got his COVID-19 vaccine: 

“It was super relieving, but it was like deflating a balloon that had been filled up for a long time. I felt stretched out from all of the stress and hypervigilance and maintained trauma of a year of asking people to pull their masks up and getting spit at and people getting hostile … but also a frustrating feeling of ‘all of that was for nothing.”

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