DISTANCE LEARNING: SCHS students share their thoughts about receiving their coronavirus vaccines and returning to campus

Freshman Diya Desai heads to Levi’s Stadium to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. She passes through the metal detectors, fills out required forms, then is taken to the locker room to receive her shot. The fast-paced system at Levi’s stadium made it so she could quickly receive her vaccine. After leaving the stadium, she felt hopeful.

“I had been waiting with great expectation for this moment for over a year, and I was so thankful to finally receive mine,” Desai said. “Every COVID-19 vaccine brings us closer and closer to the end of the pandemic, and to actually receive mine truly felt like there was a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Desai attended a Teen Vaccination Party that was held at Levi’s Stadium from May 11-13. She opted to go to Levi’s Stadium instead of going to her healthcare provider. At the event, eligible teenagers could receive their vaccine without having to schedule an appointment. 

“Security made us go through metal detectors. From there, we had to register. This required filling out a few forms, including a vaccine screening and consent form to confirm my eligibility,” Desai said. “Once given the okay, they took us to the locker rooms where someone would administer the shot. Just for precautionary measures, they made us wait in the lounge for around 15 minutes after the shot to make sure we don’t have any bad reactions.”

Ever since the Pfizer vaccine was made available to everyone 12 years old and over, students in the SCHS community have been receiving their vaccine for COVID-19. Sophomore Kaitlyn Nguyen said that once she scheduled her appointment, the process of getting the vaccine for her was very simple and quick. 

“They’ll give you a card to show you your record vaccination card, then you’ll just walk through the line, take your shot, you sit down for fifteen minutes and get up there,” Nguyen said.

Some students received the vaccine prior to the state opening vaccines. Due to his job, junior Riley Hohenbrink received his vaccine before it was distributed to the general public. After receiving his vaccine, Hohenbrink felt some minor side-effects.

“I felt pretty tired for most of the day and the day following my vaccinations, and my arm was sore to the point that it was hard to lift my arm above my head,” Hohenbrink said.

Nguyen, unlike Hohenbrink, said that she did not experience any side effects.

“I expected my symptoms to be pretty bad,” Nguyen said. “But actually, I had no symptoms at all. I haven’t felt anything except my arm was pretty sore the day after, but that’s pretty normal for vaccinations.” 

Although she received the vaccine, Nguyen is hesitant about attending school in-person next year.

“I think that we should be convincing more people to get vaccinated, so I’m not entirely comfortable with fully reverting back to the same school cycle we had prior,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen believes individuals should still wear masks regardless of whether or not people are vaccinated.

“It’s kind of hard to ask people like, ‘Oh, do you have your vaccination card? Are you sure you’re vaccinated?’ and etc., etc. It’s a lot of rules. So I think it’s just better to essentially keep doing the same thing as we’ve always done,” Nguyen said.

At first, Desai was reluctant about returning to school in person, but once she is fully vaccinated, she is ready to return next school year.

“I was a little hesitant to return back to school in person for fear of catching COVID-19 or being a carrier because I have immunocompromised family members,” Desai said. “Now, however, once fully vaccinated, I cannot wait to return back to school in person this fall.”

Desai is grateful for all of the doctors and scientists who have made the vaccinations possible.

“I cannot thank science enough for giving us this life-saving scientific achievement,” she said. “Getting vaccinated is one of the most altruistic things we can do. We should consider our risks and our protection as a shared responsibility.”