My COVID-19 vaccine story: Kevin Woods

Kevin Woods getting vaccinated.

This is part of a series sharing real stories of people who have decided to get a COVID-19 vaccine – how did they decide, what was it like and how are they feeling now?

Kevin WoodsKevin Woods is active in the Memphis community. He was recently re-elected to the Shelby County School Board, volunteers on numerous local boards and is also an avid cyclist with the Grind City Cycling Club, to name a few examples.

Fully vaccinated by the end of March 2021, here’s what the Memphis market president for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee shared about his decision to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

How I decided to get a vaccine

While me and my immediate family members haven’t had a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, I knew right away I would get a vaccine as soon as I could. It was not a difficult choice at all since I had friends who either battled COVID-19 or lost loved ones to it.

Also, I knew the sooner I could get vaccinated the sooner I could start getting back to some sense of normalcy like eating in a restaurant, traveling, and visiting family.

When I got my vaccine

I got my first dose on Feb. 20 at a drive-thru vaccination site and my second dose on March 12 at a local clinic. Both went extraordinarily well, and the process was quick and painless. The medical staff explained everything thoroughly, and the longest part was waiting afterwards to make sure I didn’t have a reaction.

How I felt shortly after

I didn’t experience any side effects except a little soreness at the point of injection with the first shot, but no pain with the second. I woke up the morning after the second shot anticipating I would feel some discomfort. Instead I was able to go on a long bike ride and have a pretty normal weekend.

How I feel now

I feel great and I do understand the concern that some may have, but I simply trust the science. Like the flu vaccine, I know that COVID-19 vaccines greatly decrease the chance of getting sick from COVID-19, and they also protect those I care about.

We all know someone who has been adversely affected by the pandemic in some way. Too many businesses have closed and too many friends have buried loved ones. Getting vaccinated was just me doing a small part in helping to tackle this terrible pandemic.

Need more advice?

If you have questions or concerns about vaccines based on your health status, speak to a provider who knows your medical history. Your friends and family may have good intentions, but they may not know your body like you and your doctor, so it’s important to speak to a provider who knows you well.

If you do decide to go online to learn more about vaccines, do seek reputable sources like the CDCFDA or World Health Organization (WHO). You can also visit to get the latest facts on and support for COVID-19 and vaccines, along with information on how we’re supporting our members and communities through the COVID-19 pandemic.

More COVID-19 vaccine stories from WellTuned

Ali Whittier, CHES®

Ali joined the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee corporate communications team in 2014 and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) through the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). A native of Iowa, she has more than a decade of experience in health promotion and community engagement, as well as health care communications. When she’s not at BlueCross, she and her husband Spencer are racing their bikes, spending time outdoors or cooking healthy food and treats in their kitchen.

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Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.