Get those vaccines!

After a hiatus, I am back with a twice-a-week online column for Access Press. And yes, I still do mask […]

Jane McClure headshot

After a hiatus, I am back with a twice-a-week online column for Access Press. And yes, I still do mask up as needed.

COVID-19 is here to stay in one form or another. That’s why we devote so much coverage to it, thanks to support from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH).

Those of us who live with disabilities are at increased risk for becoming ill, developing Long COVID, and even dying. it’s not a risk I am willing to take. It’s not a risk you should take, either.

If your health conditions allow for vaccinations, please get that done. Talk to your care provider about getting a COVID-19 vaccine this fall.

If you don’t have insurance, contact your local health department. Our big vaccine and booster events are in the past, but there are still several resources available.

If you use social media, there is a Facebook group called the Minneapolis Vaccine Hunters. Don’t be fooled by the name. The “hunters” have expanded statewide and provide tips and information on where vaccines are and are not available. As I read the posts as of late, a major problem seems to be finding places for children’s vaccines.

Another issue is staffing. Many places schedule vaccines and then have to cancel because a pharmacy or clinic is short-staffed. Be patient.

Here’s a link to the group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/350853309230438/

We’re really beyond the stage of calling these “boosters.” This is like any other regular vaccine we get or have gotten – flu, pneumonia, measles, RSV, and shingles, to name a few.

I’d include polio, but then I would be really dating myself with a childhood trip to the tiny, old school gym in Alexander, Iowa, where my family members played basketball and acted in school plays years before. That was our area’s polio vaccine site.

I also am old enough to have gone through the “swine flu” vaccine push during 1976. it was the fall of my freshman year of college. There was a huge campaign to get us to all get our shots. Here’s some history of those days from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. I remember reacting to the shot.

https://www.cdc.gov/museum/online/story-of-cdc/h1n1/index.html

My vaccine experiences this fall were mixed. I had side effects from one shot that knocked me out of commission for a couple of days. I live with arthritis, and the combination of the vaccines and a change in temperatures hit me very hard.

That being said, I’d rather have side effects and not become ill this winter. Vaccines increase my odds of staying healthy. if you do react, talk to your doctor about spacing out vaccines or ways to minimize side effects. My next vaccine will be on a Friday to not affect my work week.

Too many of my friends have had COVID-19. A few have died. One lifelong friend has been lost to this disease. While we had not lived in the same community for many years, we enjoyed each other’s social media posts. I do miss her.

Some friends are living with Long COVID and have had to change their lives. A few friends have had to stop working or make career changes. Get the vaccine as soon as you are able to.

  • Struggling with Long COVID? Get support. Talk to your healthcare provider.
  • Struggling with Long COVID? Get support. Talk to your healthcare provider.


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