Students and teachers receive COVID-19 vaccinations

The City offers free vaccinations to eligible members of the community

Nina Gutierrez, Senior Reporter

Despite the pause the United States put on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on April 13 due to reports of severe blood clotting in a handful of recipients, two other vaccines are still available.

“I am currently fully vaccinated from the Moderna vaccine,” history teacher Bruno Vetter said. “I didn’t have a choice for which vaccine I would get, but I would have been happy with any of them.”

The chance of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) from the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is low but those who experience headaches, shortness of breath, abdominal pain or one-sided arm or leg swelling within three weeks of receiving the vaccine should call their doctor, according to Dr. Leana S. Wen, George Washington University’s Milken School of Public Health’s emergency physician and CNN medical analyst.

“As expected, I experienced side effects after the second dose of Moderna,” Vetter said. “I woke up with a fever and chills and my whole body hurt, but it only lasted a few days before I was feeling better.”

People can experience minor side effects including chills, fatigue, body aches, nausea and fevers after the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccination when their immune systems take action, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Others may have no symptoms. 

“Before getting the vaccine, I didn’t think I would get that sick,” Vetter said. “I just assumed that if I’m in really good health, I wouldn’t be as affected.”

Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are approved for emergency use in the United States, according to the CDC. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for individuals 16 years or older, but the Moderna vaccine is approved for those over 18 years of age.

“I was able to get the Pfizer vaccine about a month ago because I work at Marina Market,” senior Kyra Torres, who has a part-time job at an essential service, said. “I’m looking forward to when everyone will have the opportunity to book an appointment so that life can be more normal again.”

Dignity Health, Kaiser, Permanente, Sutter Health and UCSF Health have set up public vaccine sites for residents and workers of San Francisco to receive free vaccinations, according to the City and County of San Francisco, which advises eligible residents to book appointments through their health care provider’s website. 

“I plan to get the Pfizer vaccine this Friday at the Moscone Center,” junior Avery Stout said. “I am excited to be able to finally safely see my friends.”

Fully-vaccinated individuals can gather indoors without a mask and do not need to stay 6 feet apart from fully vaccinated people or unvaccinated people who are not at risk of a serious illness, but they should continue to wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart from others and avoid crowded areas in public spaces with poor ventilation, according to the CDC. 

“It’s awesome for me because I’ve been waiting to train jiu-jitsu for a really long time now,” Vetter said. “I have both doses of the vaccine, as well as my training partners and we are doing temperature checks and contact tracing so we are all set to go again.”