COVID-19: What happened when I got the vaccine

COVID-19: What happened when I got the vaccine


Written by Yella Hewings-Martin, Ph.D. on January 26, 2021

Our Research Editor heard from two women in her family about their experience of getting a COVID-19 vaccine. Here is what they told her.


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As vaccines are slowly rolling out across the globe, more and more people will get the opportunity to have their COVID-19 vaccine shots.

Many of us may be wondering what to expect.

To find out more about what happens before, during, and after the vaccination, I asked two women in my family to share their experiences of getting their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Stay informed with live updates on the current COVID-19 outbreak and visit our coronavirus hub for more advice on prevention and treatment.

Getting both shots in Israel

My name is Shelly. I am originally from the United States but currently live in Jerusalem, Israel.

As for the flu vaccine, I received an email message from my health service telling me it was time for me to get the vaccine, and they gave me a number to call for an appointment. It took me several tries to get through by phone, and once I did, I was on hold for an hour.

Then, it was a matter of minutes to set up the appointments, one for 3 weeks after the first.

The appointments were for December 27, 2020, and January 17, 2021, at a facility a 5-minute walk from home. But the week before the appointment, I received a call from the health service saying that they were not able to administer the vaccines at that location, so could I please come to the Pais Arena on December 22 and January 13?

I quickly looked up the location on a map and agreed. The sooner the better!

On December 22, I walked the 3 miles to the arena, stopping on the way at the Gazelle Valley to see if I could spot any gazelles. I saw several. Then, it was another half-hour walk to the arena and 10 minutes to find the right entrance.

After that, it was smooth sailing. At the door, I took a number, checked in at the desk, and filled out a small form, giving my name and ID number and answering a couple of questions.

The form indicated that I’d be receiving the Pfizer vaccine. Then, I sat down in one of the socially distanced chairs in the waiting area to watch the big screen and wait till my number came up. I had come early and waited about 20–30 minutes, then headed to the cubicle indicated on the screen.

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