I'm going to start this out by saying that I'm not here to tell you to get the vaccine or not get it. Everyone has different belief's and circumstances, and I went to radio school, not medical school. I got it because I believed it was the right choice for me. You can do as you wish.

Now that my disclaimer is out of the way, I got my COVID-19 vaccination this week. I got the Johnson & Johnson one dose version that was offered to people who live or work in Benton County. Here are a handful of things I wish I knew before I got it.

1. You have to wait at the vaccination site afterwards.

I was under the impression this would be similar to a flu shot. You sit in a chair, the nurse administers the shot, and you continue to go about your day. When my nurse told me to go take a seat I must have looked so dumb to her because I had no idea what she was talking about. After you have the shot, they have a seating area set up where you hang out for 15 minutes to make sure you don't have any immediate reactions.

2. If you have an EpiPen, you need to wait longer.

I'm an EpiPen user for food allergies, and if you are like me, our kind actually has to wait a half-hour before we can leave. So don't set up a meeting right after your shot, you'll need some wiggle room.

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3. It can be felt moving down your arm.

When the shot was put in my arm I could feel the vaccine moving down my arm and into the top of my hand. It was the weirdest thing.


I can feel every hair on my head and it's driving me wild. I went to yoga the evening after I got my shot, which was about 7 hours after it was administered. I don't usually react to flu shots so I thought I would be fine, and I was feeling totally normal. But when I got home every muscle in my body started to have a dull ache. I don't get sick too often, but the last time I had the flu (years ago) I experienced a similar feeling. I took a hot shower and the helped a little but the aches were still there when I woke up.

5. I'm wiped out.

As someone who is constantly in "go" mode, I feel like I'm moving at a sloth pace. If taking a nap under my desk at work was acceptable, I totally would.

This isn't the experience of everyone. My coworker who got the same shot on the same day said he was feeling totally normal. It's going to affect everyone differently, and this is just my experience, which isn't out of the normal of what Johnson & Johnson said to expect. 

At least I got a cool button that says "I got my COVID-19 vaccine".

Abbey Minke
Abbey Minke

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