July 18, 2024

Yes, my dudes. You heard right. On March 29, 2021, Phase 2D of Ohio’s phased approach from Governor Mike DeWine will make all Ohioans age 16 and older eligible for to receive a vaccine. That is something worth celebrating.

This past week on Thursday, March 18, I received my first dose. Being in North Carolina has its perks, I guess, because as of March 17, adults age 16 and over in high-risk conditions were made eligible for the vaccine. I guess being in a university setting falls in that category.

I was so pleased, and if I had to drive and hour and 15 minutes to get it, I was downright fine with that. Two of my friends from the marine lab also schedule their shots at the same time as me. Our adventurous trip to Jacksonville was very pleasant, precisely because: (1) everyone at the vaccine facility was super nice, and (2) we had come prepared with all needed materials to help the facility volunteers get as many people through as quickly as possible.

Here is what I recommend doing or have when you get your vaccine:

Social Security Number: You will most likely need to offer your social on a form so the nurses can properly apply your health insurance to your vaccine and identification. Know it by heart or bring a scanned copy (not the original because that’s dumb) with you!

Form of ID: Your driver license will do! Depending on how the volunteers and nurses are running the facility you visit, they will need your ID to scan and make a paper copy or to write down your information on a form. Make sure they give it back to you! Don’t want to leave that behind (like I almost did).

Health Insurance: The physical form of this can vary, but the nurses and volunteers prefer a card format to show proof of insurance. This goes hand in hand with your ID, for it will also be scanned with your ID for documentation that you got that vaccine in that county at that location.

Water: First of all, it is just smart to stay hydrated and healthy. Additionally, people receiving the vaccine are immediately required to sit for at least 15 minutes before they are allowed to leave the building. It’s a precaution to make sure no one has an allergic reaction, but also to make sure no one faints or has any other medical problems. Drinking water on the day prior and of the shot will ensure your body is ready to receive that vaccine. Also, bring some for your drive if you have to travel far. I found myself quite thirsty after my shot, just saying.

A snack (or two): I got hungry after I got my shot, so having some goldfish to munch on helped.

Relax and stretch: I have a fear of needles, so I made sure to look away and breathe as the nurse shoved that needle into my right shoulder. If you too get tense when getting shots, don’t worry. It’s only a small prick that lasts for a millisecond. Afterwards, you will start to feel sore in about 10 to 15 minutes. Don’t be afraid to lift your arm up and down. It will relieve your muscles and skin of its stiffness, allowing your arm to not be as sore as long. If you know any arm stretches, do them. You’ll thank me later.

When you call to make an appointment for a vaccine, make sure you give them clear contact information, spell your name out if it’s long or misleading to the ear and try to go in groups when scheduling. It makes things easier for carpooling and allows you and your friends to go again in a few weeks to get the second dose!

Stay safe, my dudes, and get vaccinated.

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