The Pacific Times | The Only Student-Run News Website in Natomas

NP3 Students Share Vaccination Experiences

By Krista Chouang
Staff Writer | The Pacific Times

Student reporter Krista Chouang gets vaccinated against COVID-19.

The COVID-19 vaccine is now available locally to those ages 12 and older as of May 2021.

The Pacific Times asked four high area students about their experience getting the Pfizer vaccine: AJ Muñoz from Inderkum High, Bernard Sembrano and Kimberly Chouang from NP3 High, and Colby Durham from NP3 Middle.

At the time of the interview, only Muñoz and Chouang had received both doses. All of the students interviewed were 17-year-old juniors except Durham, who is a 12-year-old sixth grader.

These students said they decided to get vaccinated in an effort to help stop the pandemic and to keep themselves and everyone around them safe. Sembrano said he was encouraged by his mom to get vaccinated and Durham said she feels safer being vaccinated now that she’s going to school in person.

“It’s a way I know I can help others and myself to not get sick,” added Muñoz.

Most students described the process of receiving the vaccine as very fast with the average time of waiting to get the shot being about 10 minutes. All students had to wait an additional 15 to 30 minutes for observation to ensure they didn’t have any medical reactions to the vaccine before they were released.

Sembrano, however, said he had to wait two hours to receive his shot because it was at the NP3 family school vaccination site. Muñoz said getting vaccinated likely was quicker for her because she made an appointment.

The side effects of the vaccine — if any —varied for each student. But the students who received both doses said they experienced more severe symptoms.

Muñoz experienced a sore arm, tiredness, and cold sweats. Chouang experienced drowsiness, lightheadedness, and sore joints. Sembrano and Durham said they did not experience any symptoms.

“When my parents got it, they came home and had to rest,” said Durham. “I laid down for a little bit, but I felt fine.”

Durham said she only knows of one person who doesn’t want to get vaccinated because they want to wait and see if the vaccine is safe in the long term. She said they plan to receive the vaccine after a couple of weeks.

Although the vaccine is now available to those who are younger, there are still a lot of students who aren’t old enough to get vaccinated.

“My sister isn’t old enough yet, she’s 10, so she’s kinda bummed,” said Durham.

All of the students interviewed by The Pacific Times believe that the vaccine makes them safer, but Chouang said she believes that the vaccine will only work if everyone gets vaccinated with both shots.

“It only works if everyone puts effort into making it work,” she said. “Once people get their first dose, they don’t get the second. Some people go out without masks, which is recommended, but I’m not going to do that.”