Sagar Tolani is a 36-year-old high school math teacher in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
He got a Pfizer booster vaccine shot on Monday, September 27 at a local Walgreens.
The side effects worse than his second shot, but not as bad as the first, he told freelance writer Sarah Prager.
This as-told-to essay is based on a transcribed conversation with Sagar Tolani, a math teacher from Milwaukee, about getting the Pfizer booster vaccine shot. It has been edited for length and clarity.
When I got my first COVID vaccination shot on March 1, 2021, I chose Pfizer because I could get fully vaccinated in five weeks instead of six. Every week and every day mattered, as my wife was home with our toddler and baby. I felt a similar urgency when booking my booster shot at Walgreens last weekend.
I teach math at a public high school in Milwaukee, where nine out of 10 of my students live in households below the federal poverty level.
We barely have room to maintain three feet of distance between us in the 24-by-32-foot classroom where I teach up to 23 teens who often don't keep their masks on. We're back to fully in-person school for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, and many of my students still haven't gotten their first shot.
I'd been eager to get my first shot to protect my family, but after the side effects hit me, I almost didn't get the second one. I had a fever, chills, and aches for about 24 hours, which I'd never experienced before because I usually didn't get a flu shot before COVID (now I do).
Despite being hesitant, I mentally prepared myself before my second shot and stocked up on ibuprofen and every other over-the-counter remedy that could possibly help. In the end, it just felt like I had a bad hangover the morning after my second dose. I took a couple of ibuprofen and that was it.
With my 3-and-half-year-old and 15-month-old in daycare and COVID cases on the rise in Milwaukee, I felt a sense of urgency to get the booster shot, no matter the side effects.
I didn't want to wait, so I scheduled an appointment as soon as I was able to sign up.
I booked my appointment at 3:45 p.m. on Monday, September 27 at a Walgreens out of my way instead of my regular location, since all of the appointments there were booked.
I showed up a few minutes early but there were eight or so people waiting ahead of me. Most seemed to be in the over 65 age group, and one looked about 12 years old with a parent. I got my jab at 4:15 p.m. My side effects were manageable this time - some aches and chills that lasted only that evening - worse than my second shot, but not as bad as my first. I went to bed early after taking some ibuprofen, and woke up fine. I'm waiting out my two-week clock now, hopefully building up some additional immunity to protect my children while we wait for their vaccine to become available.
There have already been at least half a dozen positive COVID cases in my school this year, and I have a family history of diabetes and heart disease, so I'm hopeful this shot will help me and my family. My wife works from home now, so I'm the one out there exposing my family to the virus - I feel it was my duty to get the shot.
Read the original article on Business Insider