D.C. Editor Micha Green received her second COVID-19 vaccine on March 25, and streamed the process on Facebook Live. (Screenshot)

By Micha Green
AFRO D.C. Editor
mgreen@afro.com

Well I’ve done it.  On March 25 I received the second dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and while I’m still not playing games with COVID-19 and proudly rocking my triple masks and face shields, I feel thankful and somewhat empowered.

Let’s start with thankful-  I’m very grateful for my health and the opportunity to get the vaccine.

As mentioned in my article about my first shot, I’m a vaccine skeptic.  It’s been years since I’ve even gone to get a flu shot.  However, months into the rolling out of doses, and seeing family and friends safely survive the shots, the level of paranoia that I had about COVID-19 outweighed my concern about the vaccine itself.  

Then, when I finally decided I wanted to get the vaccine, the process to schedule an appointment was extremely challenging and took days of trial and error before I was able to have any success.  While it was hard for me, I know that there are millions of people across the country and world still waiting for their chance at simply scheduling an appointment, thus I considered the opportunity to get a vaccine a blessing in itself.  

Further, I’m grateful that I did not have any adverse reactions to the vaccine.  As someone with an allergy to nuts and penicillin, my body doesn’t always react well to food or medicine.  Knowing I had to get two shots heightened my anxiety about the whole process and I just wanted to be done. In addition I was also extremely nervous about receiving the second dose as some medical practitioners and vaccine patients reported more post vaccination complications with round two.  However, after the shot I only experienced 24 hours of arm pain and fatigue.

Finally, I’m thankful for the amazing people working on the frontlines that made the process of getting my vaccine possible. Without scientists, doctors, pharmacists, nurses, the National Guard, police officers and kind volunteers, receiving my vaccine would have been impossible.  At a maximum vaccination site such as Six Flags America, I was able to witness the fruits of many of the aforementioned frontline workers’ labor.  There was so much teamwork, allowing for the process to go smoothly even though thousands were driving up daily for vaccines.

Now, shifting gears to feeling somewhat empowered

Why somewhat?  Well, as I’ve disclosed before, I am a true germaphobe.  Despite being fully vaccinated, and even after the two-week period firming my immunity, I will still don PPE, social distance and obsessively wash my hands and use hand sanitizer.  I don’t want to risk getting sick.  So, while some people may see the vaccine as their ticket to being COVID-free, I’m not so confident.

Admittedly, I had been looking forward to March 25 before my initial March 4 appointment- as the system allows one to schedule both doses at registration.  I just wanted to feel more comfortable in public.  The COVID-19 pandemic has turned this social butterfly into a social distancing stan.  However, I hated not being able to make simple trips without fear.  I knew I would feel a sense of empowerment and gain more confidence when getting the vaccination.

Even a week in, I’m definitely less paranoid.  I’m actually making plans to travel to see family and can more comfortably go places such as the store or bank without feeling as if I’m in a germ-pit or hear someone cough without complete disgust and concern.

Once I’ve reached two weeks of immunity, I contend the feelings of empowerment will only heighten.

Though I feel fine and empowered, I still recommend researching reputable sources and speaking to a medical practitioner when deciding on getting the COVID-19 vaccine.  To see the entire vaccination process, visit the AFRO’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AfroAmericanNews/videos.

Micha Green

AFRO Washington, D.C. Editor