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"Most vaccine sites do not accommodate my needs."

Written by one of our scholarship recipients


Due to COVID-19 I have gotten multiple shots and had other needles in me for a few different reasons for my health. When it came to getting my first shot it was difficult trying to find a place that would fit my needs. For example, I needed someone with patience and calmness, a place with privacy away from others, my mom to be able to be with me, I get to watch something typically NASCAR on a phone to keep me calm, and somewhere that was not a packed place that is trying to push people through as fast as possible. Most vaccine sites do not accommodate my needs. At one point my mom got her vaccination from a pharmacy and when she talked to the pharmacist about my needs, they were able to make a plan that would work for me to get my shots. Also, where I go has a side room that they give shots in. My appointments get scheduled at the beginning of the pharmacy's lunch breaks, so I can have the time I need. When I went back for my second shot, a different pharmacist came in who has a higher energy level, but is a kind person, and so I asked her if I could have the other lady who gave me my first shot and she was kind and got me the other pharmacist. I asked if I can get other vaccinations there like one I needed, but have put off because of previous experiences, and if they draw blood. They do not draw blood unfortunately, but do give other vaccinations. So, I have gone back since for different vaccines, and my experiences have been pretty good for the most part. I went in the other day after getting the appointment set up with the pharmacist that has given me my other shots. I went to my appointment, but the lady was not working and ended up taking the rest of the week off for personal reasons. This caused me to have a panic attack. The pharmacists working were the one who came in originally to give me my second shot and the other person I have never seen before. When my mom and I were talking to the pharmacist I had chosen not to get the shot from before she was really sweet and said she would give me my shot, or if I rather the other person I had not met before she could give me my shot. She let my mom and I talk about it, and I decided to have my mom find out if this other person has more of a mellow personality, which was the case and she gave me my shot. Since they do not do blood draws, I had to get that done at the doctor’s office. My mom and the doctor talked about who could draw blood and would be a good match to work with me. After that, the doctor had the person do it in the exam room I was already in instead of where blood is normally drawn. The difficult thing about this was I normally sit in a chair holding my mom’s hand with my left hand, and my right hand holding onto the arm of the chair I am sitting in and the needle in my right arm. Since I was not in a chair and the nurse needed my hand facing a certain way, I had my mom grab my puzzle piece (it is like a stress ball, but in the shape of a puzzle piece) out of my purse, which I held onto in place of the chair. Also, as a reward for doing a hard thing, I get frozen yogurt after getting a needle in me.

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