Now that COVID-19 vaccines are being distributed, I’m looking forward to the brighter days ahead. For my parents who are 65+, my sister who has asthma, and my family and friends who have pre-existing conditions getting vaccinated is just around the corner and for some—already fully inoculated! 

For me and those who don’t fall into any of those categories we’re becoming eligible pretty soon. There’s the possibility that students may be able to get vaccinated in their hometowns during this summer. I’m planning on getting the vaccine because I believe it is the best way to protect ourselves against the virus. Here’s why I plan to receive the vaccine: 

I want to protect my family and community.

Even though it’s likely that my family members who are at higher risk will receive the vaccine first, I want to take the steps to reduce the risks and to protect them. I also want to protect my neighbors and friends in my community. By protecting my family and my community I hope that means a faster and healthier return to normal.

 

It helps achieves herd immunity.

When I do get both doses of the vaccine I will be helping to achieve herd immunity. To me I didn’t fully understand the importance of herd immunity until we started to emerge from the pandemic. 

Herd Immunity is when most of a population is immune to an infectious disease, in this case, that is COVID-19. This provides indirect protection––or herd immunity (also called herd protection)–to those who are not yet immune to the disease. 

How I understand it is that if I am vaccinated, I have a lower chance of contracting the virus and spreading it. Think of it in terms of domino pieces. Take a single domino piece glued to the table. When a domino piece before it falls the glued piece will not topple over nor will It cause the next piece to fall over. 

 

It lessens the chance I’ll get the virus.

As a result of herd immunity it lessens the chance I’ll get the virus. I don’t expect to have total resistance to the virus but on top of masking up and social distancing I will have extra protection. 

I’m aware that once I get the vaccine I may experience side effects. Although it is normal after you receive the vaccine, it is expected to go away a few days later. Some vaccine side effects including a sore arm and feeling under the weather for 2-3 days after getting vaccinated.

Knowing these effects, I am much less concerned about my side effects than if I got the virus itself. 

 

It gives me reassurance.

To know that I could save someone else’s life—nonetheless my own is a reassuring fact. I would take pride in my decision and encourage others to do the same if they felt comfortable too. I want to be part of the solution to help us recover from this pandemic and a challenging year. I think we’d all be better without another lockdown, agreed?

Resources

As more vaccines get rolled out across the US, it’s hard not to be excited about receiving your first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Stay up to date about COVID-19 vaccine updates by checking your WSU email frequently, checking out the WSU homepage and following @WSUHealth on social media.

Have questions or concerns about the COVID vaccine? Please email askanurse@winona.edu

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Kiva Grote-Hirsch

Kiva is a Communication Studies: Organizational Communications Major and a Mass Communications: Creative Digital Media and Global Studies Minor who will graduate in 2022. Kiva is from Madison, WI and enjoys writing, reading, photography, and playing soccer.

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