To date I have volunteered twice at a vaccine site.
I have done different things at the site.
Yesterday I screened patients. Which means I went through their paperwork for completeness and checked their health history for specific things. Such as history of blood thinners, current chemo regimen, and history of anaphylaxis to vaccines. All of which may not play as well with the vaccines.
For four hours I went through car after car after car.
Paperwork after paperwork after paperwork.
I was told that the expected vaccine appointments for the entire day was 490+.
I did not keep track of how many cars I cleared through my line.
Some of the cars had up to 4 people for vaccine appointments in them.
Today I was part of the after vaccine team.
We went along the cars, peering at the times on the windshield that indicated when they could leave.
We asked how each shot recipient was.
We counseled that they may experience flu like symptoms after 10-14 hours and that symptoms were NORMAL.
Heavy on the word MAY.
And advil, ibuprofen (yes, I know they are the same) and tylenol would be okay.
We encouraged fluids.
Toward the end of the day, depending on the mood of the vehicle, I began to be a little more loose with them.
If there were more than one person to a car, I asked which one had been shot up.
I encouraged fluids, over the counter medication as need.
I had many conversations about how the symptoms they may experience would be normal.
That the symptoms are their body learning how to react to Covid.
I began prescribing naps, careful to tell them I was not a doctor, but that, as adults, we all had to be given permission to rest.
I said that if they had any push back from their families to tell the families that the Nurse Said So.
Only one person asked about the differences between the vaccine and how people react. I told him that I thought that going into the vaccination with a mindset of it would be okay could be helpful.
There were selfies, and a general atmosphere of joy, with some tears of relief.
Everyone I approached put their masks on in the privacy of their car.
As I told them they were free to go, I reminded them one more time to be kind to themselves.
And congratulations on getting both vaccine shots.