Stephen Smith, CFNN Editor/Reporter

Student Katie Walters and Stephen Smith getting vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccine has been under harsh criticism since its initial release. Mixed reactions to the vaccine being released so early and ethical concerns behind the manufacturing of the vaccine have caused speculation around the vaccine.

According to, over 2 million NC residents have already received at least one dose of the vaccine. The statistics of vaccinated people are on the rise, and I was met with the opportunity to receive my first dose.

Monday I went to my local pharmacy to schedule an appointment to receive my first dose of the vaccine. To make an appointment all I had to do was fill out a little bit of paperwork. The COVID-19 vaccine is available free of charge to anyone who wants it, in accordance with the federal covid relief fund. I was scheduled the following Monday (March 15th) and was given a couple of times to choose from, I settled for 2:15.

Upon my arrival, on Monday I was met with a little bit more paperwork to fill out (mostly just formalities making sure I was eligible again to receive the vaccine). I was led into a small room where I was informed of the risks about the vaccine, most importantly the risk of allergic reactions.

The doctor administering my shot was extremely helpful and friendly. I received the MODERNA shot. I will admit that the shot was pretty painless and was very swift, I barely even felt the needle! After the shot, I was directed to the lobby, where I was instructed to sit for about 15 minutes until I was cleared to leave.

The hardest part of the process was the initial arm soreness I felt after receiving my first dose. The next day I woke up and my arm was extremely tender, and slightly swollen. I looked up the symptoms and they were normal (for any shot). About two days later my arm was back to normal. I am scheduled to receive my second dose in the first weeks of April, and now that I have had my first dose, I can be better prepared!

I think it’s important as a student to be transparent about the process, and to act as a catalyst for other teens wondering if they should get the vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is CDC approved and has been extensively tested. I understand the worries and concerns of others, but believe on a wide scale, the real issue we should be worrying about is contributing to a better health environment within our community and school.

If you have any questions about the vaccine please visit: