Inoculated faculty encourage students to receive vaccine

Despite long lines, sore arms and side effects, professors at El Camino College are encouraging students to get vaccinated if they can.

English professor, Kevin Degnan said the process of getting the vaccination appointment was difficult for him. He kept looking for appointments on the MyTurn website and after one week of trying, he was able to book an appointment.

He said he was skeptical before getting the vaccination because he was worried about experiencing any side effects.

“I think knowing about how quickly the vaccine came out, whereas so many other vaccines have been developed. Honestly over much more time,” Degnan said. “That doesn’t make a person feel really good, but I try to be as informed as possible.”

He received the Pfizer vaccination, and a couple of days after receiving the first shot he faced some side effects, like a light-headed feeling and gastrointestinal discomfort, while driving home with his three-year-old daughter.

“Everything turned out okay, it was fine, we got off the freeway, we went home and fortunately it was her nap time,” Degnan said.

The day after receiving the second shot, he also experienced fatigue.

“Every time I would get up, I had rushes, some body aches, and stabbing headaches,” Degnan said.

But despite experiencing side effects, Degnan believes students should get vaccinated too, if possible, because the campus environment will be safer for it.

“I hope folks have the time and digital resources to be able to get vaccinated because it would be really nice to see people back on campus,” Degnan said.

English professor, Sanam Lamborn has similar viewpoints on vaccinations. She believes everyone should play a part in getting vaccinated.

Lamborn was looking for appointments but was able to secure one from a friend’s daughter-in-law, she said. After getting her Pfizer shot she felt tired and she had the same reaction for both of her shots.

“For both shots, within the first two hours I felt a little funny like loopy then in the afternoon I was tired,” Lamborn said. “I just basically took the day off and I just sat on my couch and binge-watched Netflix.”

Her arm was sore after receiving the first shot but the second shot did not have the same effect for her, she said.

“I didn’t have any hesitations [in taking the shot] because I chose to believe in science, I chose to believe that if three major pharmaceutical companies are going to stick their neck out and create this vaccine [then] it’s going to make it through,” Lamborn said.

Similar to Lamborn, English and English second language (ESL) professor Evelyn Elwell Uyemura has gotten both her shots of Moderna and was not hesitant about getting them. The first shot left her with some initial arm pain but said she felt fine after that.

“Before [the shots] I was double masking because I was really scared of getting [COVID-19] because of my age, because I have some pre-existing conditions,” Uyemura said. “I thought I had a chance of dying if I got [COVID-19].”

Uyemura received her initial shot at ECC through the company which is running the vaccine site, she said, but also recalled her experience there as unorganized.

“We had to stand in line in the bottom level of the parking garage for three and a half hours,” Uyemura said. “There were people in wheelchairs, there were people with back braces who were leaning on a cane for three hours.”

She received her second shot at a Rite Aid.

“After I went to Barnes and Noble and bought some books and it felt like life is coming back and it just really made me feel good,” Uyemura said. “I did what I needed to do to protect myself and protect other people for a whole year.”

Uyemura said she will encourage students to be vaccinated as soon as they can to avoid having the college place strict restrictions or face delays.

“As a person who’s fully vaccinated I feel comfortable going back into the classroom, but if students are not vaccinated, the school is going to hesitate to open because we don’t want it spreading among students,” Uyemura said.

Editors note: Name was changed in one of the paragraphs for correction 

Editors Note: A quote was corrected for clarification on April 22.