Hope for the Future


Alena Gillespie

Listening to the instructions given by the pharmacist, sophomore Alena Gillespie feels a quick poke as she receives the COVID-19 vaccine.

Alena Gillespie, Staff Writer

I never thought the green words saying “Appointments Available” would make me so happy. 

It was a little past midnight on May 31 when I was headed to bed and decided to check the app “Find a Shot.” This app allows you to type in your zip code and see what pharmacies and grocery stores nearby have COVID-19 vaccine appointments available. When I typed my zip code in, available appointments appeared at the CVS Pharmacy on 83rd and Mission Road. Excited and shocked at what I saw on my phone, I ran upstairs and woke my mom up before it was too late. With many quick, frantic computer clicks, we logged onto the computer and pulled up the CVS Pharmacy website. Luckily, we were able to sign up and get appointments for my mom, dad, and I on April 4, which was Easter. 

After 9:30 a.m. Easter mass and brunch, my family headed to our 12 p.m. appointment where we were asked to arrive 15 minutes early. Upon arrival, we were sent a text message to confirm when we had arrived. As we walked into the pharmacy, a young man signed us in and gave us our vaccination card. After, he sent us to stand on socially distanced dots as we waited for our turn to get the shot. The line moved very fast as there were only three people ahead of us. 

When it was my turn to sit on the cold, metal chair that was surrounded by white privacy dividers, the pharmacist explained the possible side effects as she wiped my right arm with a cold wet wipe. Then, I felt a quick poke as the needle went into my arm. I was told to walk around the store for 10 minutes to make sure no immediate reactions occurred. 

About an hour after I received the shot, my eyelids began feeling very heavy. I decided to go to my bed and take a nap, which lasted two hours. That night, my arm started to feel sore. As I woke up the next morning, my arm felt like it was weighed down with bricks. Thankfully, the soreness went away after 24 hours from receiving the vaccine. 

My second dose of the vaccine was scheduled three weeks later, April 24, at the same pharmacy at 12 p.m. As we walked into the store, a woman filled out our vaccination cards and confirmed our appointment. We then walked straight to the white dividers to receive our vaccine as there was no one in front of us. 

As soon as the pharmacist poked my arm with the needle, I felt a surge of heaviness. My arm immediately felt sore. The following morning, I had a headache, chills and felt very tired. I spent most of the day laying in bed. The chills and tiredness decreased into the night, but a mild headache continued through the next day. 

My entire experience of getting the vaccine at CVS Pharmacy was very smooth, easy, and efficient. I would definitely recommend receiving the vaccine there to anyone who is considering getting it. To my family, getting the vaccine means having more comfort in visiting older family members, friends and being able to travel, which are all things we have greatly missed this past year.