Student experiences with the COVID-19 vaccine

The COVID-19 vaccine is currently available for ages 12+, however, people have doubts about the safety and credibility of the vaccine. Many students at West have already received at least the first shot, here are a few of their experiences.

The WSS asked students various questions concerning their thoughts and experiences with getting vaccinated.


West Side Story: Did you have any doubts about getting vaccinated?

Miles Davies ’22: No, I did not. Compared to getting COVID-19, or worse, spreading it to someone else not as healthy as I am, any risks or side effects from the vaccine are a small price to pay. I work at a grocery store, and there are many older people who come to shop there, so my biggest fear during the pandemic is that I would get COVID and spread it to someone else who would die, making me indirectly responsible for someone’s death. I wanted to do my part to help end the pandemic so life can safely get back to normal.

Sierra Keeney ’23: The stuff that was being shared online actually made me a bit scared to get the vaccine, but I knew that it was good to get the vaccine and help our community.

Fouad El-Kerdani ’21: I didn’t have any doubts about getting vaccinated at all. It was quick, painless and there was nothing to be alarmed about.

WSS: What was your experience getting the vaccine like?

Peter Adams ’22: As far as the actual vaccine injection went, it was ridiculously smooth. I didn’t even feel it go in. However, the side effects were another story. I felt like I got hit by a train, then run over by a semi, and then bulldozed. I lost full range of motion in my arm for 24 hours, and I felt insanely tired. However, it was totally worth it. 

SK: I actually got the first dose at 15 when Pfizer was still only available to 16+ since I was around 3 days from turning 16. So I felt pretty cool.

Tiki Cui ’21: After the first shot, the injection site was a bit sore, but I just moved it around a lot and it was fine after a day. The second shot, I felt a bit of fatigue, I was tired and sleepy, and some more arm soreness but it was fine after a day.

WSS: What would you say to someone who is apprehensive about getting vaccinated?

MD: It’s not just about you. It’s about protecting the entire community. You may not feel like COVID-19 would endanger your life, but you might spread it to someone more vulnerable. If we want this pandemic to end and life to return to normal, more people need to get vaccinated.

TC: There are definitely pros and cons to each vaccine, I would say to do research and don’t listen to rumors or random social media posts that use big facts and over exaggerate stuff. Look for credible sources and then make the decision yourself.

FE: I’d say that there is nothing to be worried about at all. There aren’t any side effects from the vaccine and the shots are painless. So there’s nothing to be alarmed about at all. Besides getting vaccinated is one step close to ending the pandemic, isn’t that what we want?

If we want this pandemic to end, more people need to get vaccinated.”

— Miles Davies '22

WSS: How do you feel now that you’re vaccinated?

SK: I feel great, the second dose hit me hard but I feel safer now being vaccinated.

PA: You know that Hollywood stereotype of the guy who finally gets out of jail and almost cries because of his new freedom? That’s how I feel. I’ll admit that I didn’t fall on my knees and sing Amazing Grace, but I now know that I’m free to start getting back to normal without endangering myself or those around me.

MD: I feel a lot safer now, not having to worry as much about getting sick or getting other people sick. I’m still a little nervous around people who are not wearing masks though, it will take a while to get used to that.

WSS: Will you continue to wear a mask?

PA: I’m definitely going to continue wearing a mask even though the CDC has released new guidelines. I’d rather air on the side of caution, especially with the new variants developing across the world. And even if I don’t get any benefit from continuing to wear a mask, I’m showing support for those who haven’t been able to get fully vaccinated yet, kind of a “we’re all in this together” message.

TC: Definitely, I know the CDC says it’s ok, and if I’m around some friends and they’ve all been fully vaccinated then I’d be comfortable not wearing a mask. But in public places I still will because being vaccinated doesn’t mean I’m 100 percent immune. I can still spread it.

FE: I will continue to wear a mask, not only because I actually like wearing the masks, but because I want to do whatever I can to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

I’m showing support for those who haven’t been able to get fully vaccinated yet, kind of a “we’re all in this together” message.”

— Peter Adams '22

WSS: What are you most looking forward to after the pandemic?

MD: As a musician, I’m looking forward to being able to play in band again, as it was something we couldn’t do very well during the pandemic. Online school was academically fine for me, but it’s hard to be social, and I’ll be glad to get to have those social interactions with my friends again.

SK: Just being able to live freely, go in public, and do the things I normally did.

PA: I’m looking forward to not hearing the phrase “these trying times”. I know that that’s a really small thing, but I’m SUPER tired of hearing it.

If you would like to get vaccinated but don’t know where to go, you can find locations that provide vaccinations by searching or texting your zipcode to 438829. Information regarding vaccinations can be found here