Keena Covid Vaccine

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Keena Covid Vaccine

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My name is Morgan Keena, I live in Nampa, Idaho, I am a 7th-grade social studies teacher, and I got my first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine today! Teachers weren't scheduled to start receiving the vaccine in Idaho until late February or early March. However, on January 11, 2021, our state superintendent of education delivered a speech to the Idaho legislature urging them to pass a law that would require all school districts to stay open unless mandated by the governor. Additionally, she urged that all students return to in-person learning full time as quickly as possible. On Tuesday, January 12, 2021, the governor of Idaho, Brad Little, announced via a press conference that K-12 teachers and staff were moved to the top tier and could start receiving the vaccine on January 13, 2021. This came as a huge shock to educators everywhere, but we know it is tied to the demand to have schools 100% in person. My school district, Nampa School District, then took on the momentous task of figuring out how to obtain vaccines for their nearly 1,000 staff members. Less than 36 hours later, they had secured vaccines for us at three major health systems and two smaller urgent care locations. The district also had one health system offering the vaccine on Saturdays and Sundays to better work with the teacher schedules. We managed to crash the portals of two health systems by overwhelming them with many vaccine sign-ups. I (by a miracle) was able to secure an appointment for January 15, 2021. Let me tell you; I have never been so excited to get a shot in my life.

I received my vaccine from St. Luke's Health System in Nampa, Idaho. The check-in process was a breeze and done entirely on my own. I was very relaxed while waiting for my appointment but also exceptionally eager to get back to my room and get this first dose done. Once my name was called, I met with the pharmacist who would be administering my vaccine. She was a lovely woman, and I consider myself fortunate to have met her. She was such a calming presence as she explained the emergency use authorization for the vaccine, potential side effects, and what I could expect in the days after receiving this dose. She continued to use the line, "when I got my first dose...." which made me feel at ease. We talked about my job, her children, and how this school year has been wild. Suddenly, it was over! I had my vaccine and was ready to take on the world! Almost. After a couple of cases of allergic reactions to the vaccine around the country, they now require you to wait in the waiting room for 15 minutes after receiving each dose.

I received the Pfizer vaccine and have scheduled my second dose for three weeks from today. As I was doing my time in the waiting room after my injection, I signed up for a program called V-Safe. V-Safe is run by the CDC and is used to track vaccines' side effects. Since this vaccine has emergency authorization, they are still collecting side effect data. since I signed up, they will message me once a day for the next week to do a quick wellness check. After the initial week, they will message me once per week to continue keeping up with any side effects I may encounter. I figure it's the least I can do to help science.

I am super excited about receiving the first dose of this vaccine. My husband also received it today, and we are overjoyed by that. He is a third-year medical student rotating through various hospitals, so getting him a vaccine was a priority of ours, but it proved to be more difficult to obtain than we had thought. He received the Moderna vaccine, so we get to see how both vaccines work. I received the vaccine because I expect our school board to bring back middle school students 100% in-person and full time soon. Social distancing will not exist in the classroom, and I will be exposed to 150 students in my classroom and the other 150 students in my wing of the school.

This is a good day for science. I feel excited and hopeful. I feel like I have hit the 'covid wall' lately, and I am just ready to be done with this.

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Keena Covid Vaccine Booster Link Interactive Resource
A paper heart that is taped to the inside of a front door that says: Wash UR HANDS PLS"I prefer my Corona in a bottle." Link Image

This item was submitted on January 15, 2021 by Morgan Keena using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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