Septuagenarians tell their vaccination stories

Massachusetts residents 75 years of age and over have had 11 days as of today to line up and receive the first of two doses of vaccination against the coronavirus from either Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna. Waiting in anticipation for their turns are those people listed for Phase 2, Group 2, among them, individuals aged 65 and older; people with two or more medical conditions putting them at increased risk for severe illnesses; and/or residents and staff of low income and affordable senior housing.

Many of those 75 and older who have followed through and received their first shots have used social and traditional media to talk positively about their experiences, emotions often affirmed by their children and grandchildren who seem just as relieved about the doses as their elders.

At the Reporter, two age-eligible editors found their vaccination visits salutary:

“I was among a half dozen folks at the Walgreens in Lower Mills last Saturday morning for my initial injection,” wrote Ed Forry, the paper’s co-founder.

“It was all a simple and straightforward process: I checked in 15 minutes before appointment time, a staffer took my temperature with a hand-held thermometer, and we completed a one-page form while one by one waiting for the needle.

“The shot itself was uneventful. Although I admitted to some anxiety, I barely noticed the needle going in my arm, as the technician and I casually chatted about the day, the weather, the Super Bowl the next day. That procedure took less than a minute and afterwards I sat back in a chair for 15 minutes while waiting to see if there would be any adverse reaction to the inoculation. There was none.

“Several people have told me they had experienced some discomfort, mostly a sore spot on the arm where the injection had taken place. But I experienced none of that.

“I had heard that for many, a sense of happiness – almost euphoria – prevailed after the shot.

“After almost a full year of anxiety over the killer Covid virus that has taken so many lives and hurt so many other people and businesses, that brief visit to the pharmacy Saturday brought great relief to me. More than one senior has expressed publicly how helpful, caring, and empathetic all the folks administering the shots have been. And I agree.

“I walked back to my car last Saturday feeling that I just got a new lease on life. I will come back for my booster shot in four weeks. I have been told that the protections of the first shot might take six or seven days to be effective, so I’ll be watchful. And I’ll continue to wear a mask and practice social distancing until I’m told I can ease up in that regard, which is likely to be well after the second dose.”

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“I got my shot at Gillette last Thursday, which happened to be my 78th birthday. For those of us who are running out of first downs to extend our playing time, losing almost a full year at this stage to live as hermits has been a real downer,” said Reporter associate editor Tom Mulvoy. “But a sense of renewal rose with the sun on Feb. 4, and late in the day (4:42 p.m. was my scheduled time), I drove to the stadium, parked as instructed at 4:25, entered the clinic area at 4:32, followed up along the way on the required paperwork with the staff, and got the shot from my nurse at exactly 4:42.

“After waiting for 15 minutes in case a serious reaction followed the injection, I walked out the stadium gate with a skip to my step, itself a rare event for me these days. Next visit: March 4, same time, same station.