COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients Detail Their Emotional Reactions Millions of people have received the COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday, according to federal health officials. Some recipients tell NPR about the emotions they felt when they got their shot.
NPR logo

COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients Detail Their Emotional Reactions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/962190182/962190183" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients Detail Their Emotional Reactions

COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients Detail Their Emotional Reactions

COVID-19 Vaccine Recipients Detail Their Emotional Reactions

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/962190182/962190183" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Millions of people have received the COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday, according to federal health officials. Some recipients tell NPR about the emotions they felt when they got their shot.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been, to put it mildly, a mess, and we've covered the problems a lot. We haven't heard as much about what it's like to actually get the vaccine. When they plunge the COVID-19 shot into your arm, you may not feel much of a physical sensation, but many people feel a lot emotionally. And after a year of worry and pain, they've taken action that may ward off the virus. Let's listen to some reflections on what that moment is like. And we begin with George Schmidt, who, with his wife Patty, got their first dose in the town of Highlands, N.C.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GEORGE SCHMIDT: Since Patty and I are in our late 70s, we got to go after the medical workers. You go in. Then, of course, you get the shot. Then you have to sit in the bleachers for 15 minutes to make sure that your head doesn't explode or you fall down or whatever. But after that, there was an enormous amount of relief. But I tell you what, I've never felt this - well, how can I put it? I'm happy to go to sleep at night and remain unconscious for a little bit (laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

JENNIFER DANISH: My name is Jennifer Danish. I'm the head of school at Grace Episcopal Day School in Kensington, Md., and I was able to get the vaccine this past Saturday. And I felt a lot of anxiety about even being there. We were in line with mostly 75 years old and over folks. I've been caring for my husband who has cancer this year, and I'm the head of a school that's been trying to open. And so when I saw my colleagues come out vaccinated and then knew that I was about to go in myself, I was honestly just overcome with tears.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DARRELL BANKS: My name is Darrell Banks. I live in the greater New Orleans area. I'm in the Moderna research study. I was unblinded today. I found out that my first shot was the placebo. So today they gave me the real vaccine. And honestly, getting the shot, I wasn't really thinking about myself. I'm anxious for my mother to get the vaccine so that I can go visit her.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

ALLEGRA MCCOMB: My name is Allegra McComb. I'm 25 years old. I live in Colorado Springs. I volunteer for a local hospital. And through their allocation of vaccines for all of their employees, they included volunteers in that, which, you know, was really, really cool. And I'm so grateful that I got a vaccine. The main feeling I got was just, like, a huge sense of relief, to know that, you know, I am personally protected but also have another layer of protection for the people immediately close to me and also that I can be contributing to herd immunity.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

UTIBE ESSIEN: My name is Utibe Essien, and I'm a primary care physician at the University of Pittsburgh here in Pittsburgh, Pa., and I have gotten my two COVID-19 vaccines. And after that first vaccine, I was thinking about the hundreds of thousands of people - it was around 300,000 at that time; we're far beyond that - whose lives were lost.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

LYNN BARNETT: My name is Lynn Barnett. I live in Delray Beach, Fla. I got the vaccine this morning at 9 o'clock. It was the most wonderful experience besides getting married twice that I've had. It was so wonderful. They were so kind. They were so efficient. I think that we're going to have problems getting the second dose. I'm not sure they're going to have enough vaccines. I'm hoping.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

CORNISH: The voice of Lynn Barnett. We also heard from vaccine recipients Utibe Essien, Allegra McComb, Darrell Banks, Jennifer Danish and George Schmidt. And they'll need to keep wearing masks and stick with social distancing practices until more people get the vaccine.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2021 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.