Courtesy of Emma Pence

Senior Emma Pence smiles and poses after receiving her first dose.

Emma Pence

Senior and Sonic employee Emma Pence is grateful to have been vaccinated, regardless of getting an allergic reaction to the shot.

“I was thrilled to learn that I qualified for the vaccine. I work at Sonic and have a lot of interaction with the guests, most of whom are not wearing face masks, so it was nice to learn that soon I’ll be fully vaccinated and not only be able to help protect myself, but others that I interact with from getting COVID-19,” Pence said.

A short while after receiving her vaccine, however, Pence began to experience slight after-effects, including a temporary rash, heat, dizziness and weakness. 

It was really stressful because I did not feel well at all and I had to stand up in front of over 20 people and go sit in a recliner in the back of the room while two nurses watched me and took my vitals. Everything came back normal and my symptoms subsided after about five minutes though,” Pence said. “While my experience with receiving the COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t sound ideal, this is not most people’s experience. Most people are fine after getting the vaccine and don’t have the reaction I had. My experience is one out of many and I am still getting my second shot next week even after having a reaction.”

Despite these adverse effects, Pence would still encourage her peers to get the vaccine.

“My advice would be to drink plenty of water and have a snack before you get the vaccine, make sure you move your arm after the vaccine to avoid tenderness from the shot and make sure you don’t really have anything planned the next day in case you feel sick. If you can get the vaccine, get it,” Pence said. 

Like her classmates, Pence also lost out on several senior year traditions, but she has hope for improvement for the next senior class. 

“The most disappointing impact of COVID-19 for me was the loss of my senior year. A lot of the things that we’ve been looking forward to since freshman year were canceled or if they are happening, they aren’t at all like they should be,” Pence said. “Hopefully, the rollout of the vaccine means that next year’s seniors will have a more normal year filled with all the senior year activities they’re supposed to get because I understand how much it stinks to miss out on them.”

As looser mask guidelines are being unveiled, Pence hopes that she will soon have the opportunity to return to her favorite activities. 

“I’m most excited for when more people get the vaccine to hopefully have things start returning to what used to be normal. I miss being able to hang out with people like I used to,” Pence said. “While getting my vaccine, I just felt really grateful: grateful for science, grateful for the vaccine and grateful that hopefully the vaccine becoming more widely available means that soon things will start to feel more like they once did.

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