How to get the COVID19 Vaccine (& My Reasons to Inoculate) in NYC

How to Vaccinate in NYC :

  1. Register on to make an account
You will get a Setup Email (Check your Junk/Spam Folder or search “Vaccine” in your Inbox)make a password by clicking the link in this email

3. Now you will be able to login and it will prompt you to complete a questionnaire to confirm your eligibility. Make sure you can answer Yes to at least 1 of the Yes/No screening questions. Group eligibility is changing weekly and can be found here.

4. Choose your Vaccination site and keep cycling through the days to find an appointment. Try out of the way sites where people may cancel to free up slots

5. On the Day of your appointment Log in Again and you will see a link to do a final questionnaire. Do this to get a QR code which you will need to enter the premises of the vaccination hub. You may also get an email reminding you to.

Once you have this QR Code you are all set!

The Day of Vaccination :

You will line up and be queued in. Your email says to come 5 mins before, I would say come 30-45 before as parking is hard by many sites. Here are some photos of the whole process.

The needle is longer than the Flu shot, and it goes in slowly (the tech explained to me the vaccine is fragile) I got the Moderna. It pinches a little, then goes in for 5-10 seconds as you get the shot.

I noticed no side effects other than arm soreness which went away in 36 hours. No fever, chills, or headache. This was dose 1, I will update this article for dose 2 in aprox 2 weeks. You may get some side effects, this is normal. Your body is presenting an immune response to the vaccine contents (which is how vaccines work, see the ancillary notes)

They will make you stay for about 20 mins when you get it to monitor for any vaccine allergic reactions. If you are parking with a meter keep that into account!

(Opinion) My Reasons to Vaccinate :

  1. It reduces the transmission of COVID19 and reduces your risk of serious side effects should you get exposed to the virus.
  2. Its free (in NYC and Possibly other states as they get a rollout)
  3. I trust the research and technology.

How does the Vaccine work (Simple Terms)?

Simply put, your immune system responds and creates antibodies to diffuse foreign particles in your body. Traditional vaccines use weakened versions of viruses to invoke a response.

The COVID-19 Virus looks like a ball that has spikes on the outside which makes it infectious by penetrating cells with those spikes. The COVID-19 Vaccine uses mRNA to tell cells to produce just the spikes of the COVID-19 virus. FYI mRNA is like a blueprint for your cells to perform an action, in this case, to act as a factory to make these spikes. Keep in mind its just the spikes your body is producing, not the virus. Your immune system then attacks the spikes by creating the antibodies to disable them. Now it knows how to attack the spikes. So if the real coronavirus comes in (with the same spikes) it will disable the virus and prevent an infection. Mutations of the virus may have the same spikes but more of them but at this point your body is well versed on making the antibodies that neutralize the spike.

Also the mRNA in the vaccine is small and fragile and your body cleans this up as well, which is why you only see major adverse vaccine side effects within 1-2 months, which is how long the studies have observed. For example, have you noticed any long term side effects from the Chicken Pox Vaccine? that vaccine used a small amount of the actual virus, not a subsection of the virus like the mRNA vaccine produces, and from the billions who have had it, no long term effects were observed. Vaccines on the whole are very safe for these reasons.

Many bring up the speed to market concerns, however its important to know that most vaccines end up lost in beuracacy because of red-tape and funding. In this case, the pandemic has created tremendous worldwide demand to immunize. Billions have been put in to expedite this process of getting the study to the execution phase.

Parallel to this, manufacturing of all vaccine candidates were done (even though many candidates wouldn’t make it) so when the studies concluded the supply to immunize the public was already made. Lastly, to address speed of manufacturing, mRNA is a very tiny snippet compared to DNA, it can be made very quickly unlike DNA vaccines which need chicken eggs or another incubator to be manufactured.

Any new technology can have a risk, however because of the large international multidiscipline efforts brought forward by the social, health, and economic devastation of the pandemic. Interests are aligned to make the risks of the research and production pretty low. Plus it has been observed on many people before general public distribution. So the risk of the unknown is largely shadowed compared to the consequences of getting COVID-19 with no immunity.

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