What’s it like to get vaccinated for COVID-19?

This map, put together by the Texas Department of Emergency Management, shows all vaccination locations in the Waco area. Courtesy of Texas Department of Emergency Management.

By Annaleise Parsons | Staff Writer

As of Jan. 27, Waco is in Phase 1A and 1B of COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Those eligible include healthcare workers working with COVID patients, school nurses, residents of long-term care facilities, persons who are 65 years or older and those 16 years or older with a chronic health condition. More information can be found at Waco’s COVID-19 information website.

San Antonio freshman Daniel Valdez was given the first dose of the vaccine at a community center in his hometown.

“Just like with any other vaccine or new medicine, I did have my doubts and I did research beforehand, but I do like to believe in science, so I just went ahead and got it,” Valdez said. “Why not? We’re in the middle of the pandemic.”

Valdez said he believes vaccinations will help everything “go back to the way things that were.”

“I know a lot of Baylor students are upset about getting COVID tested every week,” Valdez said. “I feel like it’s very important for them to go out and get vaccinated when they can or if they can.”

Dr. Mike Whitenton, a professor in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, received his first dose of the vaccine in Waco at the Waco Convention Center when he became eligible.

“[Vaccine] spots went very fast … like registering for classes,” Whitenton said. “Getting there was a great experience … It’s very spread out. They had firefighters out there … in case someone has a reaction to the vaccine.”

Over the break, Baylor received 300 Moderna vaccine doses and distributed them to those eligible in Phase 1A, according to a Jan. 15 statement. At this time, Baylor does not have any more vaccine doses available. However, students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to fill out a vaccine interest form online so the university is prepared should they receive more vaccines.

Possible side effects, listed on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, include headaches, pain around the injection site, fatigue and chills.

“All I had was a headache for two to three hours.” Valdez said.

Whitneton encouraged the Baylor community to follow all COVID-19 regulations on campus.

“Now that we have a very clear understanding of how to prevent the virus: wear a mask…and maintain social distance and now we have a vaccine that’s open to a large percentage of the population,” Whiteneton said. “Now that you have the option to do it, now it’s time to think of the consequences of not doing it.”