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OPINION: At long last, I got the shot I wanted
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OPINION: At long last, I got the shot I wanted

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I got my first COVID-19 vaccine this week. The experience was a good one, and I have never liked shots.

I developed some soreness where the needle hit me, but it was no worse than a common flu shot. The aftermath was not nearly as uncomfortable as the old tetanus booster and a far cry from the smallpox vaccination.

That smallpox vaccination was an ordeal when this old guy was a little boy. I had almost overcome my fear of shots when I was jabbed the recommended 12 to 15 times to get the proper dose. I lost count after the second prick.

Mom was comforting. She promised me that was the last time I would have to undergo the smallpox torture. She was right.

At least my smallpox vaccine scar was smaller than hers. When Mom got her inoculation, the stabs were spread out, leaving an oval scar as big as her thumb. In those days, fashion designers actually created clothing that allowed women to dress fancy without showing those scars.

I know. I heard the ladies talking about it.

Efficient process

I received my COVID-19 shot at the Hickory Metro Convention Center. There is plenty of parking, and the way to the right room is clearly marked. You can’t get lost. The process is efficient. You spend twice as long in the post-vaccination waiting room as you do getting the shot.

Administering the Pfizer vaccine is over in no time. You wait a while in the big room after the shot to see if any immediate reactions occur. I didn’t feel any soreness until I returned home. My soreness was sort of like getting nicked with a softball in a backyard game of roller-bat.

Most all the soreness was gone after 24 hours of getting the shot.

The staff at the vaccination clinic knew exactly what to do, from the intake workers, to the shot-givers to the guy watching people in the waiting room.

Nobody fell over, moaned, scratched, wobbled or went running to the restroom in the group with my wife and me.

It’s a good feeling to encounter confident, well-spoken people when you go for a vaccination or any kind of shot for that matter. Did I mention I don’t like getting stuck?

I get my second shot in three weeks. The literature that came with the vaccine says reactions could be a bit more intense with the second injection, but I’m not concerned. If getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the worst thing that will happen to me, I’ve got it made in the shade.

Medical advice

I know some people are suspicious about the pandemic and the vaccines. My advice is talk to your doctor. Lots of doctors will provide online guidance for their patients. I consulted my physician and a specialist before getting stuck.

Both gave me the green light and confirmed by opinion that vaccination is the right thing to do. From the beginning of the pandemic, I made it known that there would very little mixing and mingling by me until I was dosed.

After the proper waiting period after my second shot, I’ll be able to get out a little more and relieve the anxiety and boredom of self-imposed isolation. I will still wear a mask as suggested by the experts. I will keep my distance. Please respect my space. I promise I will respect yours.

Listen up. If I am immune to the virus, I can still be a carrier. If you have COVID-19, we meet and neither of us is wearing a mask, there is a chance I could inhale your breath. It won’t bother me, but if I meet someone else who is not wearing a mask and I sneeze or cough — I have minor allergies — then I can pass your infected breath along to that person.

The U.S. has passed 500,000 deaths caused by COVID-19 (that we know about). Does anyone think that’s an acceptable loss — that we can tra-la-la our way through this pandemic because somebody said there ain’t nothing to it?

I slept well after my vaccination. I didn’t have any other reactions than the temporary soreness. I’m glad. I did not want to be dizzified, or develop sudden cravings for eel casserole or rutabaga pie, or itch where I can’t scratch.

Those things weren’t on the reaction list, by the way, except for a little dizziness with some people. But I can imagine lots of stuff I wouldn’t like.

Wise wife

I thought about acting as if I was suffering a little — you know, play the sympathy card — but I can’t fool my wife. She knows all my tricks. See, you can teach an old dog new tricks. The problem is that old dogs have increasing difficulty in coming up with new tricks on their own and nobody wants to teach us anyway.

I did not need a new trick to sign up for my COVID-19 vaccination.

I firmly believe that vaccination is the best way to beat this pandemic. We beat polio, smallpox, typhoid fever and lots of other diseases with vaccines. These diseases still exist, barely, but vaccines deny them the hosts they need to flourish.

If they can’t eat, they can’t live, and vaccines starve them into submission. I’m looking forward to getting my second COVID-19 dose, and I’ll do it again if necessary.

Talk to a doctor if it makes you feel better, but make an appointment to get your vaccine. It’s the right thing to do. I’m excited about the prospect of rejoining civilization.

Email Larry Clark at

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