Students begin receiving vaccines; multiple opportunities available

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Junior Avery Calderon smiles after receiving her COVID-19 vaccine. Calderon said, “I originally wanted to get vaccinated to keep my grandparents safe because they are around my family a lot, and they are at a higher risk, but then it also came with other benefits such as being able to take my mask off in small groups.”

Jack Daws and Samantha Haney

With the Moderna vaccine approved for ages 18 and older and the Pfizer vaccine approved for ages 16 and older, students ae now starting to get vaccinated.

Junior Evan Brotherton was able to receive the vaccine earlier than others because of his job in the medical field.

“I got the first vaccine Jan. 29, and I got the second Feb. 19. I was able to get vaccinated so early because I work in a dental office and that was when everyone [in the medical field] was getting it. I feel like I’m one step closer to living a normal(ish) life,” Brotherton said.

Senior Brett Monroe wanted to get the vaccine in order to keep herself and others safe, as well as return to a sense of normalcy.

“My driving factor would be school, work and family. I wanted to be able to participate in normal activities now and this fall at college. My boyfriend’s brother is a type one diabetic and I wanted to also get it to protect him. I also work two jobs where I see a lot of people everyday and wanted to protect myself,” Monroe said.

Monroe has received both vaccinations, and said the process was very similar on both occasions.

“I got mine through Walmart. I searched super late at night hoping ones would open up and one did. I got to the Walmart, showed proof that I was in the group to get the vaccine, my ID and health insurance cards. I waited maybe a couple minutes then was given the shot, then was told to wait in a waiting area for 15 minutes after. This happened for both shots. They gave me a COVID vaccine card with a sticker stating which vaccine I got and from where [I got it] both times,” Monroe said.

Some people have experienced the common side effects as a result of taking the vaccine, such as junior Avery Calderon.

“After my first dose I felt fine for a few hours and then super fatigued starting that night and that followed into the next day. About 24 hours after the shot I felt completely fine and back to normal,” Calderon said.

Calderon expected similar effects for her second dose, but still decided it was important for her to be fully vaccinated.

“I was super nervous about getting my second dose because I had heard it was worse. I stayed home from school the day I got my shot but never felt sick. I woke up the next day not feeling well and slept all day long but woke up the next day feeling completely fine. I feel so much safer being vaccinated but still am being very cautious because they don’t know much about how being vaccinated protects others from you,” Calderon said.

Other students looking to get vaccinated can consider making appointments as Walgreens, Walmart or Sam’s Club, or websites such as the following to find vaccination opportunities

The Missouri government launched a website that allows people to make an appointment in their area based on available opportunities: https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/find/#navigator.

The St. Louis County Public Health Department has a website that allows people to pick from any appointments available that day: https://stlcountycovidvaccine.as.me/?appointmentType=21483997.

In addition, the City of Wildwood will host a COVID-19 Vaccine Pop-Up Event on May 6, from noon – 6 p.m. at the Wildwood City Hall (16860 Main Street). Anyone 16 years of age and older is eligible for this event and then second doses will be scheduled on-site.