It looks like we are making some progress in Europe—even dudes like me can get their vaccination by now.
For those of you who don’t know, we had quite some problems with our vaccination program in Germany (and Europe in general).
A few weeks ago, it looked as if I had to wait until August to get my first shot. But all of a sudden, things are moving fast. Germany managed to up its supply game, and everyone can sign up to get vaccinated.
First, we had so-called priority groups. As an adult with no health conditions, working from home, and no children, I wasn’t in any of these groups. After they dropped these limitations, my mom, who was in the priority group because of her age, didn’t have an appointment. So I decided to wait.
But to be honest, that wasn’t the only reason. I was scared. Not because I wasn’t trusting the science behind the vaccines, but because I have a history of being the one person experiencing side effects.
When I was a teenager, I had acne. At that time, doctors in Germany treated kids like me with a medication that was supposed to help. It was said that only 1 in 10,000 patients would experience side effects—and I was that one person. My acne got worse, and it took more than two years before I was not ashamed of showing my face in public. I had pimples so big that I couldn’t open my eyes at times, and 25 years later, there are still scars on my back.
As you can imagine, that is something I will never forget.
When I heard about the less than one in a million chance of having severe problems with the COVID-19 vaccinations, I was nervous. But I knew that there was no reason for that from a logical standpoint—but still, I was scared.
At the same time, I was aware that the only way out of this pandemic was getting that shot.
After I found out that my hometown was offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccination (only one shot necessary), I immediately signed up. Not only would I only need one shot (of course, I am also scared of needles), I would also get my vaccination passport 15 days later.
In Germany (and most of Europe), we get a digital certificate that can be used to avoid any further testing when attending public events. It basically takes away (almost) all limitations.
I was highly motivated to get my shot and prepared myself for long waiting lines. I got an appointment after signing up online, but I was sure that there would be hundreds of folks showing up—I was wrong.
When I arrived at the town center, there was nobody besides the doctors and me. I got my shot and had the pleasure of a nice conversation with the leading doctor who organized that event. To be honest, I was quite shocked to see that the place wasn’t full of folks willing to get their shot.
But who am I to judge? I was also not the first in line.
After getting the shot, I felt so happy that I almost started crying. I remembered being stuck in Costa Rica without knowing how this pandemic would turn out. I will never forget when I heard about the first vaccines getting their approval. And it had been a rough time in general for my little family and me. Finally, receiving my vaccination gave me a feeling of relief that I did not expect at all.
And you know what? I got super sick 12 hours later—fever, headaches, body aches, chills, and a severe panic attack. I had a terrible day after getting my shot.
Another 24 hours later, I am totally fine again. Actually, I feel better than before. I overcame my fear of needles and medication, and I am proud that I (finally) did the right thing.
If you are a hippie (like me) who is scared of needles and doesn’t trust traditional medicine, this is the time to overcome that.
We all want to return to our normal lives. The only way to achieve this is getting more than 80 percent of the population vaccinated—who are we to ruin that?
I know that getting a shot can be scary. But we need your help. If you live in a country that offers vaccination, please sign up. I hear your concerns, but we need your help.
We have the tools to end this pandemic; let’s use them. It might feel scary to some of us, but I think the outlook of a neverending lockdown is far worse.
I salute all of you who got the shot early on. Now it’s time for all the reluctant folks to overcome our fear and literally take the shot for the team. There are folks all around the world who would be more than happy to get vaccinated—if your government offers vaccinations: go and get ’em.
We are all in this together, and we can only make it out of this mess if we can overcome our deepest fears.
And again, I am feeling perfectly fine two days after getting my shot.
What are you waiting for?