Thursday, April 29, 2021

I Got My Second COVID-19 Vaccine!

Me, two minutes after my second Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on April 29, 2021.

Six weeks ago at this very moment, on March 25, 2021, I was sitting here being a typical person on a Thursday afternoon in the middle of a pandemic, and my Twitter started lighting up with info about how the state of California had finally announced a vaccination plan that included my age group. Two weeks later, on April 1 (the first day of eligibility), I woke up and after awhile of trying, got an appointment to get my first COVID-19 vaccination dose that same day. I wrote all about that entire experience at the time.

Today -- Thursday April 29 -- I got my second and (at least for now) final COVID-19 vaccination. I know it's a little ballsy saying that I feel perfectly fine only a few hours after the shot, but for the moment, that's how it is. I promise to amend the post if I spontaneously explode or turn into some kind of large amoeba over the next day or two. At the risk of tempting fate, everything has gone extraordinarily well with my entire vaccination experience.

Back to LA
My second dose of the Moderna vaccine was provided by Carbon Health, who had set up a large vaccination site in the parking lot at the Crenshaw Christian Center in South Los Angeles, about 13 miles northeast of my home here at the beach. It's on 79th Street, south of Florence between Normandie and Vermont. My appointment had carried through from my first dose four weeks earlier; I didn't need to do a thing.

Big hats off to Carbon Health in that regard; after my first dose, I got a text message and email showing that I was registered as such in their system, and then in the days preceding my second dose, I received reminder messages and a confirmation for my next appointment. They seem really together with this massive undertaking.

Had we waited awhile, we probably could have received a vaccine appointment at a spot closer to where we live, but honestly... it was a) great to get this done and out of the way and b) the people running this vaccination site could not have been more professional and efficient at moving large numbers of people through the process.

Unlike our first dose, we practically pulled straight up to the vaccination site for dose #2, as opposed to waiting in an hour-long line of cars as we did last time. Once again, everyone there was friendly and professional, and the shot itself was administered by a medical technician from the Los Angeles Fire Department. Being overly cautious, I made absolutely sure to confirm that the shot they were giving me was Moderna. Then came the painless jab, and then a 20-minute wait to once again confirm that neither Christina nor myself were experiencing any immediate reactions to the shot. Once the all-clear came through, we headed back home. 

One kind of cool thing: Carbon Health also provided an electronic version of this document that will likely come in handy at some point when I am in a position to prove my vaccination status. 

A few VERY important things I need to impart to anyone stumbling across this post.

  • The vaccine is free.
  • The vaccine is safe.
  • In almost every case, the vaccine's side effects are very mild and short-lasting, especially compared to getting COVID-19.
  • Most people don't get any side effects at all, or are so minor as to be barely noticeable.
  • If you truly want to start getting back to a free and open society across the country and around the world, the fastest way to do it is for as many people as possible to get vaccinated.

Grateful Living
Back in Spring 2020, around the time that the first lockdown orders were hitting and people were staring to speculate how long this pandemic would last, I did a little historical research. I looked at the typical time for a vaccine to be developed, the multiple phases of clinical trials to prove it safe for use, and the administration of a distribution plan to offer it to a country of 328 million people.

My earliest estimate from my perspective in March 2020 was that we'd be lucky to get a vaccine by October of 2021, and I was especially annoyed at the people -- far too many of them -- who were complaining about the initial six-week lockdown period. I knew back then it was only the very start.

This thing has impacted my life far too much over the past 14 months. Hopefully I can spend a lot less time dealing with it in upcoming months, and get back to things like music and travel and fun.

So, for me to be sitting here just 13 months later, having received both doses of a highly effective, well tested vaccine is simply amazing. It's unheard of. It's completely unprecedented in the annals of medical science. And yet, as would be completely expected from any realistic viewpoint, there are those people out there who won't take this miraculous, free, life-saving treatment because of their distrust of science and government.

I used to try and help those people, but I don't anymore. Instead, I just do the things that help ensure the safety of myself and those very close to me, and that's about it. That's the only area where I can truly be effective in making a difference. I do encourage you to do the same with any person you care about who's on the fence about getting vaccinated, or about getting their second dose if that's a necessity. Beyond those people who matter the most to you and to whom you can personally encourage and influence, the rest of them are voluntarily on their own to catch and suffer the consequences of the virus.

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