COVID-19 vaccine becomes a reality

New COVID-19 vaccine effects Lawrence North students and families. Community members who received the vaccines share their experiences.

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Isabella Anderson, Staff Member

Junior Mirajur Rahman walks down the all too familiar halls of Community Hospital. He had received an email in December that, thanks to his internship at Community Hospital, he was eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine. He works with patients when he’s in the hospital, and this allows him to be one of the few LN students to receive the vaccine.

“It was like any other vaccine, nothing different. They took a really big syringe and it was in and out within about five
seconds. They had us stay for about 15 minutes after to monitor if we had any symptoms,” Rahman said.

He has received both the first and second dose of the vaccine, and with soreness around the injection site being the only symptom so far, Rahman is happy to have received it.

“Despite what people are saying, for me personally I haven’t seen any side effects. As of right now people are saying, oh yeah you’re still going to get COVID and the vaccine doesn’t work, but it usually takes around two weeks for the vaccine to kick in,” Rahman said. “There was a case where someone got COVID right after they took the vaccine, and they’ve been spreading rumors about it. There just wasn’t enough time for the vaccine to kick in.”

Sonja Schaeckenbach, an occupational therapist who works in homecare, has a daughter enrolled at LN. Scheckenbach received the first vaccine at the end of December, and the second on Jan 7. She agrees with Rahman that the process was very simple.

“The first [shot] I had a very, very sore arm for about 24 hours, like I had been punched. The second one I got very sick,” Schaeckenbach said.

While Rahman’s sore arm remained his only symptom, Scheckenbach had a different experience. She and five of her other co-workers endured symptoms of feeling sick.

“I had my [second shot] at five oclock on a Thursday, and had a really hard time sleeping that night. About ten oclock the next morning I had body aches, joint aches, the chills, low grade fever, and I just wanted to wrap up in a blanket and hide,” Schaeckenbach said.

Schaeckenbach is thankful to have the opportunity to get the vaccine so early in the distribution process. With her job putting her at risk almost every day, she’s glad there may finally be a way to subdue her worries of catching the virus.

“I’m very lucky that for the last ten months now I’ve seen people with COVID-19 everyday and I’ve not had it. I was really glad to have the opportunity. Anything not to get it at this point,” Schaeckenbach said.

Schaeckenbach isn’t the only one looking forward to the distribution of the vaccine in the community. Rahman has been looking forward to the vaccine since the beginning of 2020 and he’s hoping with the vaccine being distributed that his world will slowly begin to return back to normal. While his internship before allowed
him to follow surgeons and doctors around, COVID-19 has him stuck working the front desk. While he’s still grateful for his internship and believes it to be a great and fun opportunity, he’s ready to go back to doing more than volunteer work.

“I really wanted to get the vaccine because I trust science. I just really trust science, and I wanted to be able to go outside,” Rahman said. “It’s there and whatever happens, happens. I trust it, and it hasn’t turned me into a monster yet.”

While the vaccine is still in the early stages of distribution, the community is itching to return back to normal. With the first case of COVID-19 being over a year ago, Schaeckenbach is looking forward to the possibility of the community becoming what it once was; especially with the vaccine slowly becoming more and more
available.

“I think we have to [get the vaccine]. I don’t know if it’s going to be the end-all to this, but it can’t make it any worse,” Schaeckenbach said. “At this point we haven’t found any other answer. I don’t know for sure that this is the answer, but if we don’t do it we won’t know.”