I’ve had Alicia Key’s song, This girl is on fire, stuck in my head since I got vaccinated last week. But, of course, with the word fire changed to Pfizer. It’s actually a really hard song to sing. I need a new tune to bug my kids with. But I’m happy to be able to have gotten my first dose.
I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical last year while I was pregnant about getting vaccinated if it was my turn and I was still pregnant or breastfeeding. The research wasn’t readily available and I didn’t want to be an experiment. However, after recently reading about promising research and hearing from other nursing and pregnant mothers who got vaccinated I felt confident to roll up my sleeve.
According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 vaccines are thought not to be a risk to lactating people or their breastfeeding babies based on how these vaccines work in the body.
“Therefore, lactating people can receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Recent reports have shown that breastfeeding people who have received COVID-19 mRNA vaccines have antibodies in their breastmilk, which could help protect their babies.”
Although the website does say more data is needed to determine what protection these antibodies may provide to the baby. I’m not going to lie, the thought of pumping out some of my milk after getting vaccinated and selling it on the black market briefly went through my mind.
I registered through the BC government’s website a couple of weeks ago and only a few days after that, I received a text message with an invitation to book an appointment. There was a link I clicked and I got to choose which day and time worked for me. It was so simple. I even received another text the day before my appointment with a reminder. There was also an option to call for those not so tech-savvy.
When I got to the Coast Mountain College, where the clinic is located, ten minutes before my appointment, there was plenty of parking (which is good because I had the baby in the car seat and those things are heavy to drag around.)
I was greeted outside by two very lovely ladies who asked me the same slew of questions that you get everywhere. No, I don’t have any symptoms of COVID or been in contact with anyone who has COVID and I have not traveled outside of the country in the last two weeks (or two years for that matter.)
My mask was on, I sanitized my hands and entered the building that had clear signage on where to go. I went into a room and waited about one minute for my turn.
There were tables lined up with people ready to give the vaccines. I sat down and met a wonderful woman, I’m not sure if she was a nurse, I didn’t ask but she explained which vaccine I would receive, how it worked, the possible symptoms and gave me time to ask any questions.
I thought I would feel nervous, but I didn’t. The actual shot was almost painless, like a tiny pinprick. I then had to go into another room and wait 15 minutes to make sure I didn’t have a reaction. I was even offered snacks there. The whole process took less than a half-hour.
It was seamless and easy. I instantly felt empowered and part of the solution.
I didn’t get vaccinated just to prevent myself from getting sick. I did it to avoid bringing it into my household where I have three children who aren’t eligible for the shot yet.
I did it so I can hopefully see (and hug) my immune-compromised niece soon.
I did it so my nephew, who is currently battling cancer in Vancouver, can come home to a healthy community soon.
I did it so hopefully, we can kick COVID out of our community and our small businesses can fully reopen.
It isn’t just about me, it is about something much bigger than that.
It’s about getting back to some sort of normalcy, gathering together, and living life without fear.