To Vaccinate Or Not To Vaccinate…

I got the shot! I didn’t think I’d be in line to get it for another 3 or 4 months but I got lucky.

I did everything I was supposed to do. I registered my name and got on the waiting list at my regular pharmacy. Even when it was announced that people in my age bracket would be moved up for a dose of AstraZeneca because it wasn’t recommended for people over the age of 65 yet due to a lack of data on its efficacy for that age group, I still didn’t think I would get it anytime soon.

Today on a whim I stopped off at my pharmacy on my way home from work. Of course I was told, “only people with confirmed appointments are able to receive a vaccination.” But when the pharmacist said they just had a cancellation and if I could wait a few minutes and fill out the form she would see if I qualified. I did and it seems the planets had aligned and so I got the vaccine.

Just like any inoculation it was quick and easy and relatively pain free. In and out in a second or two. I don’t know why I thought I’d suddenly hear angels singing Hallelujah or that fireworks would suddenly go off. But the pharmacist did say “thank you for doing your part.” “Thank me? Thank YOU for giving me the shot, potentially a life saver.”

While I would have preferred the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine with a much higher efficacy rate, I’m relieved to get the one I got. No matter which one you get, it’s a life saver. While it takes a couple of weeks for your body to build up immunity, if you get infected you are not going to get so sick, you won’t require a trip to the hospital or a stay in ICU or worse a trip to the morgue.

After a 15 minute wait to ensure I had no side effects I left the pharmacy with a spring in my step. The sun seemed to shine brighter and I found myself smiling behind my double mask. I even stopped off at the corner store and bought a lottery ticket. (I’ll tell you how that turns out but I already feel like I hit the jackpot!)

It’s amazing what a little pin prick can do for your state of mind. I think it has to do with the fact that this has been a really tough year for everyone, even tougher for some people. For me personally I still worked every day (I work at a 24 hour news station) but it wasn’t easy. Still I have a job and a steady pay cheque which is more than some people have been able to say. I managed to dodge the Covid bullet but I faced different health concerns when I was diagnosed with cancer. I got through that okay, but I still worried that after beating cancer I might still be taken down by Covid.

So with this shot in the arm I feel I can breathe easier again (through the double layered mask) and I can finally see a glimmer of light at the end of what has been a very long and dark tunnel.

On the same day I got my shot, a woman in Toronto who just turned 114, received her vaccination and announced it is “the best birthday I’ve ever had.”

If you have the opportunity to get a vaccination, do not hesitate. The only real danger is refusing to get inoculated against this deadly illness. Not only will you save your own life but by not getting sick enough to require hospitalization, you can keep the hospital bed available for someone else who may need it to fight the virus or some other life threatening condition.

As for side effects, I have not had any. Not even a sore arm that I often get when I receive a flu shot.

There’s no conspiracy to inject you with a tracking device or whatever crazy rumour you may have bought into. It’s simply a vaccination to protect your body from a viral invader.

With it you will live another day… without it you could become the next statistic in this pandemic. As of right now 119,377,408 people have been diagnosed worldwide with Covid-19… 2,644,575 have died. Almost 120 MILLION cases and more than 2.6 MILLION lives lost. Think about that. If we had a magic bullet 1 year ago that would have stopped this coronavirus in its tracks, imagine all those lives that would have been saved, how many businesses would still be thriving, how many people wouldn’t be looking at bankruptcy. We would still be travelling, partying, dining out and working out. What a different world this would be. Do your part and lets all get back to “normal”.

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Darren Weir

Darren Weir

TV News Producer (retired), writer, traveler