Michigan is currently in Phase 1b in the COVID-19 vaccine plan, allowing for many Western Michigan University healthcare students to be among the first to receive the vaccine.

Senior Allison Pouliot works as a care assistant and medicine technician at Heritage Community Nursing Home in Kalamazoo and received her first dose of the Moderna vaccine Tuesday, Jan. 5 in a back hallway at her facility. 

“We had to fill out a pretty long consent form to get the vaccine,” Poulet said. “It was available to all residents and employees. You just showed out, filled out another consent form and waited in line and the pharmacist gave the vaccine.”

Pouliot said the consent form was about two to three pages long and included various medical and insurance questions. Afterwards, Pouliot was given a piece of paper saying she received the vaccine and when to return for the second shot.

“It was actually very simple,” Pouliot said.

A majority of Pouliot’s coworkers, as well as residents at the nursing home, got the vaccine so they could be one step closer in ending the pandemic. Residents had to have their families consent in order to get the vaccine. Per Pouliot, there has been no COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.

Amid concerns over the safety of the vaccine, Pouliot said she did her research on the vaccine before receiving it. She talked to her doctor about the long term effects the vaccine might have, particularly when it comes to fertility as some vaccines can affect fertility in the future. The pros of getting the vaccine outweigh the cons, she said.

“I trust science and I trust all the health workers and scientists behind the vaccine,” Pouliot said. “If it was so dangerous then I don’t think the politicians that got it before everybody else would have gotten it.”

The only side effect Pouliot had was arm soreness which occurred 20 minutes after she got the vaccine. The soreness dissipated after 24 hours.

“If the vaccine is available to you, do your research and if you can get it, get it,” Pouliot said.

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