My COVID-19 vaccine story: Roy Vaughn

This is part of a series that will share 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?

Roy Vaughn, BlueCross SVP and chief communications officer, knew all along that he was going to get the COVID-19 vaccine. For him, it was a small way to do his part in slowing the spread of the virus, protecting his friends and loved ones, and helping things get back to normal as soon as possible.

“Getting the vaccine was not a difficult choice at all. I decided very early on that I would do it,” he says. “I tracked the development and approval processes of the various vaccines. I trusted the experts, especially the ones I know, and I hope others will do the same.”

Here’s what Roy had to share about his decision to get the vaccine and his experience.

How I decided to get a vaccine

While my family and I have been very fortunate and none of us have tested positive, we’ve certainly had friends who have had to deal with the virus. We know what COVID-19 can do. It’s important for everyone to get vaccinated to protect themselves and their loved ones, friends, neighbors and co-workers. It’s a small step that’s lifesaving.

When I got my vaccine

I have no pre-existing conditions, so I was in the last phase of vaccine eligibility. However, my wife and I were both able to get our vaccines through leftover doses. Early in the rollout, when doses were still being reserved for older age groups and those with chronic conditions, organizations distributing vaccines that wound up with extra doses at the end of the day were allowed to give those to residents who wanted them – regardless of their eligibility status – so they weren’t wasted. We were proactive in exploring this option so we could get our vaccines as soon as possible.

I got my first dose of the Moderna vaccine on March 12 and my second dose on April 9. The process was as smooth as silk. It took about 20 minutes overall each time, with the 15-minute observation period after the injection.

How I felt shortly after

During the first few hours after both shots, I felt some “stuffiness” in my sinuses. It could have been the vaccine, but the pollen count on those days was off the chart, too – typical for spring in Tennessee. Beyond that, I had slight injection site soreness for both shots. The day after my second dose, I had a very low-grade fever for just a couple of hours. All in all, it was a pretty easy experience, and I had no other adverse effects.

How I feel now

Now I feel like Superman! Seriously, I have no lingering effects, other than the relief I feel, which is real. It makes me feel a little better that I have an extra layer of protection, and that I’m one step closer to being able to do things I did before the pandemic.

I’m looking forward to getting back to something close to normal for everyone. For me, that includes traveling more. I also can’t wait to be around people again, including our great employees at BlueCross.

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 BCBSTupdates.com 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

Amanda Haskew

Amanda joined the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee corporate communications team in 2017. Born and raised in Chattanooga, she has a decade of experience in writing for print and the web, as well as digital marketing. When she’s not at BlueCross, Amanda is usually reading or knitting and spending time with her two dogs, Oliver and Gus.

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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 use tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the in the Member Wellness Center under the Managing Your Health tab.

Filed under: Health Topics, Real Stories

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Amanda joined the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee corporate communications team in 2017. Born and raised in Chattanooga, she has a decade of experience in writing for print and the web, as well as digital marketing. When she’s not at BlueCross, Amanda is usually reading or knitting and spending time with her two dogs, Oliver and Gus.