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By Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal
Special to The Village News 

Kicking it with the the coronavirus vaccine


Last updated 2/24/2021 at 4:36pm

I had my first injection of the Moderna vaccine, Jan. 22. Naturally, I was anxious wondering what the side effects might be. As it turns out with most worrying – I had fewer complications than I did after my flu shot last spring.

The vaccination cycle is still in phase 1A. Therefore, when I finally found an open appointment, I grabbed it. Most locations were booked solid. Out of hundreds of possibilities, there was only this one option at the SuperStation in Chula Vista.

If you are not computer savvy, I don’t know how you can get an appointment. It took patience and continued revisits to the San Diego County coronavirus vaccine website to find an appointment. I searched for “San Diego County Coronavirus Vaccine” and the most confusing details appeared.

I fumbled my way through the San Diego County Coronavirus website, and once I determined that I was in the right vaccination phase, I completed entering the rest of the required documents.

You will be required to enter every detail about yourself except the color of your shoes. Then you will finally get to search for an available appointment by scrolling through all of the locations. After three days of searching, the only open vaccine appointment was in Chula Vista at 11:45 a.m. The drive took about an hour and 15 minutes from Fallbrook.

Finding the actual vaccination site was aggravating because it actually was at the opposite side of where the car’s GPS took us. Anyone with a history of relying solely on a GPS must be aware of its inaccuracies. The address was 565 Broadway in Chula Vista and led to a nearly vacant shopping center at the corner of H Street and Broadway. It was tucked in the back of an abandoned Sears store which faces H Street, but the place for the injection was in the rear near the back parking lot.

Parking was ample, and there were plenty of polite helpers to keep the lines moving. My appointment went forward without a hitch or a wait. Every person involved was pleasant and fulfilled their responsibilities.

My only rub is why there is a mandated-picture-identification requirement for this free federal vaccine? Why is it a requirement for this vaccine when it is to be given freely to every human on American soil? Citizen or vagrant? Too bad the vaccine wasn’t distributed during the last election.

After the first injection, the side effects I felt were minor as were the side effects from my husband’s vaccine injection the following week at the same location. The Chula Vista Superstation had the only openings in the county. Twenty-eight days later, we scheduled to get our second injections of the Moderna vaccine. Keep the vaccination card, you’ll need it to get the second dose. I was encouraged to take a picture of it with my phone on both sides in case it got lost. I used the 15-minute waiting period to take the pictures.

After her second Moderna vaccination, my daughter had a two-day flu reaction and complained that even her hair hurt. As a physician assistant, she recommended toughing it out and powering through the chills and body ache without taking aspirin or even something to stop the diarrhea. She said it’s best to let your immune system work through the second dose. Finally, after 48-hours on the couch, she felt good enough to swallow some miso soup. If anyone has a better idea, please send me an email.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website mentioned the side effects but it doesn’t mention what will happen if you take anything for the symptoms. On their website, they suggest doing nothing.

Fourteen days before our second injection, we had to register for our second appointment on the San Diego vaccine website. But, alas, that wasn’t the way it worked out.

There was a four-day window to receive the second injection for flexibility, and my window was Feb. 15-19. Should an appointment be open, the second shot can be given at any location, so “they say.” As of this writing, no one is offering the second injection unless they provided the first i.e., the Fallbrook Family Health Center, Graybill Medical Group and who knows if one of the drugstore chain stores will be administering the second shot by that date; however, no one locally is giving the second shot unless you received the first from them.

If someone is deciding whether or not to take the vaccine, I encourage them to read the story about the young couple who caught COVID-19 in The Village News, Jan. 28. They certainly made me a believer.

While two members of my own family, my 32-year-old grandson in Nome and his fiancé, tested positive with the COVID-19 virus, he has had zero effects while she is still suffering side effects.

Take care and keep your social distancing. Wash your hands a lot and cover your face when coughing.

Elizabeth Youngman-Westphal can be reached at [email protected]


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