If you’re old enough to drive, you’re old enough to get a COVID-19 vaccine in West Virginia.
And now, anyone 16 and older can just go to a website (Vaccine.WVUMedicine.org) and make an appointment at a time that is convenient for them.
The Greater Monongalia County COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic, at the old Sears location at Morgantown Mall, has been complimented for its efficiency.
In my job as public information officer at Monongalia County Health Department, I have been tasked with documenting COVID-19 testing and vaccines. Many people do not want to be photographed while having a swab inserted into their nose. But just about everyone I have asked has said “Yes” — some even rather enthusiastically — to having their picture taken while getting a jab in their arm.
Just this Wednesday, one woman gave a “thumbs up” sign during the whole process, so that I would be sure to capture her happiness at being that much closer to being protected against this pandemic that has thrown just about everyone’s life onto a different course.
After a year of posting bad news on social media and sending out press releases about COVID outbreaks and such, it’s been extremely gratifying to see individuals getting vaccines and expressing happiness and occasionally even appreciation at taking this next step. I sometimes tear up at my friends’ passionate social media posts about how grateful they are.
So if you haven’t signed up yet, why not? Are you worried about side effects? They are not that bad and certainly not as dangerous as a case of COVID-19. All three vaccines being given in the U.S. are extremely effective at reducing disease and death.
But I get it. As a health department employee, I was among the first Americans to get vaccinated in December. I admit I expected to have more time to see others get inoculated. I was a little nervous. But when the vaccines were then delayed a couple of weeks, my emotions changed, and I realized I was anxious at the prospect of not getting a vaccine.
When I did, I experienced very few side effects. It was mostly fatigue after the first dose and a sore arm after the second.
You can read updated information about COVID vaccine safety at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/safety/safety-of-vaccines.html.
Email Mary Wade Burnside at MaryWade.Burnside@wv.gov.