When COVID-19 vaccines first became available in January, I promised my readers I would share my experience in receiving them.

Today I got my second, and final, dose of the Moderna-made vaccine.

I say "final" based on the notion that the vaccines confer long-term immunity, but this disease is too new to know that yet. It's entirely possible that the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the disease it causes, could be with us for a very long time, and it may become necessary to get vaccinated for it every year, like I always do for influenza.

The experience of getting my follow-up vaccination was nearly identical to my first. The staff from The Clinic and the Pontotoc Technology Center student nursing staff were all bright and helpful, and no one seemed to wait more than a few minutes between signing in and getting the actual injection.

The injection itself was, at least as I write this just a few hours after receiving it, exactly the same as the first one. It stung a bit going in, and now my arm is starting to get sore.

I would encourage my readers to remain vigilant about social distancing and masking for the time being, whether they are vaccinated or not. No vaccine works every time, and the combination of vaccination, masking and distancing might be the formula for defeating this disease.

It's also going to be so easy for everyone to forget the hard lessons we learned in the last 15 months, lessons we will need to heed again in the future when the next epidemic or pandemic strikes.

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