By Emma McFarland

As they become more available, students must make decisions about the COVID-19 vaccination. Some Northwest University nursing students working as caretakers and nursing technicians have been recently vaccinated. To ease worries about vaccine availability and side effects, three of these students have shared their experiences.

Senior nursing majors, Natasha Vederoff, Grace Black and Adele Gordon all received both doses of the vaccine. Vederoff works as a one-on-one in-home caretaker, and Black and Gordon are both nurse technicians at University of Washington Medical Center.

Each shared that they either received emails or were able to sign up to register for a vaccine once their phase and tier were approved by the state.

Vederoff shared that she went to the UW northwest campus, where they took her to a “huge room you can tell has been repurposed for this…I followed the arrows to the registration table and filled out a paper and consent form. Pretty soon after that a medical student came out and took me back to cubical areas and he gave me the shot. The second vaccine was pretty much the same.”

Black and Gordon shared similar experiences; both received the vaccine at UW where they work.

Vederoff, Black and Gordon all experienced different reactions to the vaccine. Black shared that “for the first dose, my arm was moderately sore the day after. For the second dose, I had a small headache, chills, high temperature, fatigue and weakness several hours after I received it that lasted throughout the day. My arm was sore soon after the second dose. I felt much better the next day.” Similarly, Gordon shared that she also had an elevated temperature and sore arm. Vederoff explained that she was glad she had been able to plan when she received her vaccine to make time for possible side effects.

When asked what they would share with students making decisions about the vaccine, Vederoff stated “There is actually a lot of information, and you don’t have to look on weird obscure websites to find info. A lot of this information is really public; lists of the ingredients and side-effects are available. We don’t need to feel like it’s a weird scary obscure thing.”

Black wrote, “educate yourself. Be aware of the things you hear people say that don’t have scientific evidence behind them. Check out credible sources such as the CDC and WHO websites.”

Over the next several months, if you choose to be vaccinated, find your vaccine phase on the Washington State Department of Health website and educate yourself on when you may be eligible.