Locals receive second COVID-19 vaccination


Fara Wiles

Math teacher Susan John and other Virginian residents stand in line to receive their second vaccination at the Virginia Beach Convention Center on Feb. 18.

Many Virginia Beach residents returned to the Convention Center on Feb. 18 and received their second vaccination after obtaining their first shot weeks ago.  

Virginia currently allows immunizations for people in the phase 1B category, which includes people 65 and older, frontline essential workers, and adults with underlying conditions. Other eligible candidates include people who live or work in homeless shelters, correctional facilities, and migrant labor camps. 

“I was absolutely delighted and relieved to get my second shot, and got Moderna both times,” said English teacher Anne Wilson Gregory.

In order to be fully vaccinated, residents must get two doses of the shot, either the Pfizer-BioNtech or Moderna. The first shot begins to build protection and the second shot, given a few weeks later, fully protects people from COVID-19.

“I received Pfizer. I was a little nervous about getting the second shot because we were told there was the potential of feeling much worse than with the first dose,” said math teacher Susan John.

According to National Geographic, it takes one to two weeks after the second shot to achieve the maximum level of protection from COVID-19. 

“I was surprised that getting the second dose took longer than the first dose. They definitely improved their system, but I later found out that the Pfizer vaccine has to be mixed close to giving it, which holds up the process,” said John.

To make it easier for Virginians, Gov. Northam recently announced the new statewide vaccine pre-registration system. This allows people to sign up for the free COVID-19 vaccinations. More information can be found at https://vaccinate.virginia.gov.

Wearing masks and social distancing is still highly recommended even if vaccinated. 

“I will still maintain social distance and wear a mask because the vaccine is not 100% effective, and we also don’t know if I could affect anyone else,” said Gregory.