UMass students share what it’s like to get the COVID-19 Vaccine

Getting vaccinated at UMass? Here is what you’ll experience


(Marc A. Hermann / Flickr)

Ethan Brayall-Brown, Writer

A 500 person  COVID outbreak at the beginning of the spring semester caused UMass to go into “High Risk”. This left many of its students wanting the vaccine but wondering what it is like to get it.

Though most Massachusetts college students won’t be able to sign up for a vaccine until April 19, some UMass undergraduates have already been getting the jab.

“The steps were really simple,” said Sydney Doherty, a UMass student and a cashier at Target who was vaccinated in the Campus Center.

Doherty and others were able to qualify under Phase 2 in the Massachusetts vaccine distribution phases

“Someone informed me that UMass posted appointments on Fridays at 4 pm so I went to the UMass vaccination website and managed to get one,” she said. “You went through the general medical, background information, and insurance. Then you have to answer a bunch of questions regarding your COVID status”

An important note though is that this process is timed. If not completed in 30 minutes a person’s spot will be lost.

When it is time to arrive for the appointment, there is “a very long but fast-moving line,” says Ian Harvey, a UMass student and grocery store employee at Hannaford. “There were employees directing everyone to where they were supposed to go.”

Andrew Clemens, a UMass student with a medical condition describes more of the process. “A QR code was sent to our phone in an email that proved you signed up so you had to show that and one form of identification,” Clemens said. “Once all set, they gave you a card where they wrote the date, checked off the first shot, signed it, and wrote the date of the second.”

When getting the first shot, patients are automatically registered for their second dose. “It automatically registers you for the second one, three weeks later at the exact same time, so that was convenient,” said Doherty.

Getting the actual vaccine is easy according to Clemens. “After receiving the card, we were given a clipboard to check off stuff like if this is our first shot or if we currently have COVID. Then we went into a room to get the vaccine, which afterward we went into a big room to wait for fifteen minutes to see if we had any allergic reactions. Then we were free to leave,” Clemens said.

Some experience symptoms like pain in their arm or sickness from the vaccine but most are perfectly fine.

When asked how she has been since her vaccination, Doherty said,  “So far so good! I have my second dose on Tuesday and that’s usually the one that you may feel symptoms.”

Although UMass is a convenient place to get the COVID-19 vaccine if you live on-campus or in an off-campus apartment, there are other vaccination locations. Other locations found here.


Email Ethan at [email protected]

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