I got my COVID-19 vaccination last Thursday at Strong Memorial Hospital. Conveniently, the University spammed my email with six messages telling me that I (and everyone else in the school) was eligible to schedule a vaccine appointment. To appease my crippling needle phobia, I decided to get Johnson & Johnson’s single dose vaccine to avoid a second appointment and a second jab. 

Getting the vaccine was probably the easiest medical appointment I’ve ever had (apart from the parking… Walk there if you can). Once I was inside, it took me about five minutes to show someone my UR ID and wait in line. I sat down, made some nice small talk with the person about to stab me, got stabbed, and stayed for another 15 minutes to make sure I wasn’t going to die from an allergic reaction. As you can probably guess, I didn’t. I was in and out of my appointment in less than 30 minutes. 

That night, however, the vaccine absolutely kicked my ass. I’ve heard a variety of stories from different people about the severity of their reactions, but I was having a bad time. For the next 24 hours, I was achy, had a slight fever, and suffered a pounding headache. 

I felt awful. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat. 

Here are some reasons, both selfish and selfless, why you should get vaccinated as soon as possible.

To the more self-centered people: Like everyone else, you probably preferred normal college life over what it’s been like for the past year. You probably enjoyed getting drunk in a basement on the Frat Quad or at an off-campus house, or just hanging out with friends, without having to worry about masks and exposure. Getting vaccinated will increase the chances of a normal college year next year, where you can party with your friends without worrying about COVID-19, or getting caught breaking rules.

To the more altruistic among you: Getting vaccinated saves lives. Neither the CDC nor the WHO know what percentage of the population needs to be vaccinated in order to achieve herd immunity against COVID-19. But in the case of other common viruses, we typically need around 93% to 95% of the population to be vaccinated, meaning that people who are eligible to get the vaccine have a moral obligation to do so. 

I have every reason to believe that I don’t need the vaccine. I’m a healthy young adult with a low probability of contracting the virus, and an even lower probability of being severely afflicted if I do get it. I don’t have a job that puts me at a high risk, nor do I have any obligations that require my in-person presence. Despite all that (and my fear of needles), I still got the vaccine. 

There is no excuse. Get vaccinated.

Tagged: COVID-19 vaccine

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