BUD’S BLOG: Here’s what it’s like to get the COVID-19 vaccine

BUD’S BLOG: Here’s what it’s like to get the COVID-19 vaccine
Bud Foster receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Tucson, Ariz. on Feb. 10, 2021. (Source: KOLD)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - KOLD News 13 reporter Bud Foster received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021, becoming one of the hundreds of thousands of eligible Arizonans to get the shot.

Over the next few days, Foster will keep a video diary detailing each day of his experience, focusing on how he’s feeling after the first shot to the days leading up to the second dose and thereafter.

To learn more about the vaccination effort in Arizona, click here.


DAY 1: WEDNESDAY, FEB. 10

My appointment was not until 1:40 p.m. so it was a long morning. I’ve been waiting on this for quite a while, since the state and county began vaccinations back on December 17, 2020.

BUD'S BLOG: Moments before the first shot

I thought, as a news reporter, which was considered an essential service, that we’d be in cue pretty quickly. I was disappointed to find out we’d be in 1C which meant a wait of months.

But fortunately, the county burned through much of the 75+ group, teachers and emergency personnel to open up 70+ on February 4th. That was my age group.

I went to pima.gov on Friday and followed instructions to the website. Within five minutes I had filled out the survey to let them know I was eligible and interested. They said an email for Mychart would show up within a week.

On Saturday, a day later, it did but I waited until Sunday afternoon to sign in. I was presented with a large number of selections for my first dose. I chose Wednesday for no particular reason.

I arrived at the TCC nearly an hour early because I was anxious. Not scared but just the anxiety of getting it over with. My appointment time was 1:40 p.m. so right on time I checked in.

I noticed it was a large group of people filing in and out but it was very orderly.

My first experience was at a table where the fine folks made sure I was double-masked. I was with a KN95 and a cloth mask. If you don’t have a second one, they provide it to you.

I got a real nice TMC employee who filled out my card for my shot of the Moderna vaccine.

There were a lot of people in the room but nothing seemed crowded. Panes of plexiglass separated the workers and those who were getting shots. There was a lot of noise but it didn’t seem to be disconcerting or make it hard to hear.

I was pointed to a table with two EMT workers who I knew had plenty of experience. They asked which arm. I got it in the left arm since I’m right-handed.

There was no pain with the shot. I didn’t feel a thing. But then, I don’t mind getting shots.

It took only seven minutes from beginning to end. I had to wait 15 minutes in a large side room to make sure there were no side effects. There were none so I was free to leave.

I left pretty happy with the entire experience.

WATCH: Bud explains the process leading up to his first dose and the moments after.

BUD'S BLOG: Four hours after getting the COVID-19 vaccine

DAY 2: THURSDAY, FEB. 11

BUD'S BLOG: One day after the first shot

Well, here we are on day two. Woke up this morning with no after-effects. No sore arm at the injection site. No fever. No chills. No headache. Everything perfectly normal.

I wasn’t sure when I went to bed last night how I’d feel this morning but am pleasantly surprised.

I don’t think most people have any or much in the line of issues following the vaccination. I’m glad I went through it. Seems the responsible thing to do. But it also opens up the question of where I’m at now. First dose: How safe am I? What are the rules after the first dose. I know most of the specialists and experts I’ve talked to say “keep on doing what you’ve been doing.” Mask up. Well, double mask these days. Wash hands. Social distance.

If you look at the numbers, you’ll see a big drop in the number of cases, hospitalizations, ICU beds in use, and percent positivity. That may be, in part, because we’re fast approaching 200,000 thousand of us who have been immunized. While it’s far short of the vaunted herd immunity that we’ve been told is necessary to end this protracted battle, but it does afford us a bit of herd immunity. I’m trying to track down someone who can talk about this today so stay tuned.


DAY 3: FRIDAY, FEB. 12

BUD'S BLOG: Second day after first dose of COVID vaccine

I am scheduled to get the second dose of Moderna’s CVOID-19 vaccine March 12. I was thinking I wouldn’t have any problems with it since I hadn’t experienced any issues with the first dose.

Well, that changed Friday when I noticed soreness in my shoulder and a bit of redness where I got the shot.

That’s the only thing really, other than being a little tired today.

A little bit of soreness, a little bit of pain, but certainly not anything you can’t handle.

I will be talking to the state and county later today about the lack of vaccine. We have received a lot of messages, especially from those 60 years old and up, about frustrations over the registration process.

I certainly understand that.

The best I can tell you is to be patient.

I went to the county website to register. After a few days, I received an email and went to the TCC to get vaccinated.

It seemed fairly simple, but maybe I got lucky. I urge you to keep on trying.

I know the shortage will go away at some point in time.

Hang in there, be patient and don’t worry about a little sore arm.


DAY 6: MONDAY, FEB. 15

BUD'S BLOG: Five days after the first COVID-19 vaccine

Nearly a week after Bud’s first vaccine, he said he’s feeling great so far.

After the shot, Bud said his arm was sore around the injection site but, other than that, he hasn’t had any side effects from the vaccine.

Now, he’s counting down the days until he needs to head back to the vaccination site on March 12 for the second dose. That dose could pack more of punch, Bud said, compared to the first but that depends on the person.

However, the virus could a lot worse compared to the side effects of the vaccine.

You can hear more about Bud’s experience in the video above.


DAY 7: TUESDAY, FEB. 16

BUD'S BLOG: Six days after getting the COVID-19 vaccine

As Bud nears a week after the first dose of his COVID-19 vaccine, he said he’s still feeling normal. Five days in and he hasn’t felt any aches, pains or side effects from the first shot.

Looking toward the second dose, which is coming up next month, Bud is also watching how vaccine distribution is going across the state, particularly in southern Arizona.

Today, the state health department opened registration for its first state-run vaccination site in southern Arizona. Meanwhile, the Pima County health officials announced its opening up vaccinations to people 65 and older, paving the way for thousands of adults to get their shots.

Bud breaks this all down in his vlog above.


DAY 8: WEDNESDAY, FEB. 17

WATCH: Bud Foster talks about the vaccine supply issues in Arizona.

It has been exactly one week since I had my first vaccine and have three weeks to go before I get my second.

I have been reading on Facebook, seeing people say the second one will really knock you down.

I am not looking forward to that, but it is better than having the coronavirus and is the right thing to do.

We should all get vaccinated when it comes to our turn and if there is a supply.

Supply is really becoming an issue all across the county, especially with the real bad weather in Texas.

The vaccine just isn’t getting here.

Monday’s supply was supposed to arrive today and today is Wednesday. That will keep us going for another day or so.

Pima County told me they are working on contingency plans if they don’t get enough vaccine shipped in.

You can hear more about the vaccine issue in the video above.


DAY 9: THURSDAY, FEB. 18

BUD'S BLOG: Breaking down the second dose and supply issues

Now eight days after the first shot, Bud is getting a little more information about what he might expect once he gets the second dose.

In an interview, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero told Bud the three police officers on her protection detail all called in sick the day after they received their second vaccine dose, reporting fevers, chills and headaches.

Not everyone is expected to feel side effects from the vaccine but some people do and it varies from person to person.

Meanwhile, Pima County announced more vaccine appointments will have to be delayed because of extreme weather to the east and transportation issues. This comes as the county and city are preparing to hold a joint meeting to discuss how the state hasn’t reimbursed them for testing efforts like it was supposed to.

You can learn more about this and Bud’s vaccine journey in the video above.


DAY 10: FRIDAY, FEB. 19

BUD'S BLOG: Breaking down the vaccine shortage

Aside from some soreness in his shoulder, Bud said getting the first shot has been a breeze but the second shot could be a little more difficult to handle because of possible side effects typical with getting a vaccine.

But that’s not cause for concern until March.

What has been a concern is money, for both the City of Tucson and Pima County. After they spent millions on COVID-19 testing and the vaccine, both expected to get funding from the federal government allocated by the state but said they haven’t.

Bud breaks this down in a video above.


DAY 13: MONDAY, FEB. 22

BUD'S BLOG DAY 13: Waiting on vaccines

Bud is looking forward to getting the second dose of the vaccine in a few weeks time. For those who have made appointments or are waiting to get the vaccine, Bud says to be patient.

Green Valley says they are making it a priority to vaccinate those who are waiting for their second dose.

Pima County has done 400,000 COVID-19 tests and is still waiting for reimbursement.


DAY 15: WEDNESDAY FEB. 24

BUD'S BLOG: Day 15 Feb. 24, 2021

It’s been two weeks to the day since Bud has received his first COVID-19 vaccine.

Religious officials in Phoenix have received their second dose of the vaccine by Dr. Cara Christ.

Johnson and Johnson will begin administering vaccines in Arizona next week.


DAY 17: FRIDAY, FEB. 26

BUD'S BLOG: Friday, Feb. 26

Today marks 17 days since Bud Foster received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Health officials across the country still await approval of the one-dose vaccine by Johnson & Johnson, and the Food and Drug Administration has suggested its approval for emergency use.

The J&J vaccine is expected to get the green light by Saturday.


DAY 20: MONDAY, MARCH 1

BUD'S BLOG: Three weeks from the first dose

It’s been nearly three weeks since Bud received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and is only 12 days away from his second dose appointment.

This comes as more people are expected to get vaccinated as the state health department changed restrictions, allowing people 55 and older to get the shot. Meanwhile, Arizona is expected to get a shipment of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which only requires one shot.

Bud breaks this all down in today’s entry.


DAY 21: TUESDAY, MARCH 2

BUD'S BLOG: 10 days out from the second dose

Bud is counting down the days to when he goes back to get his second COVID-19 vaccine and he’s already less than two weeks out.

As that day nears, Pima County is getting ready to give out the latest FDA-approved vaccine made by Johnson and Johnson. County health leaders expect the Tucson area to receive around 3,000 doses in the coming days.

However, this vaccine isn’t expected to used on the general public, instead, leaders said it will likely go to communities furthest from vaccination sites since this is a single-dose vaccine.

Bud breaks this down and more in the video above.

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