‘It barely hurt’: Teen shares her COVID-19 vaccine experience

Published 2021-05-10 11:31

Kids 12+ across Canada now eligible


As of last week, kids age 12 and up across Canada are eligible to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for COVID-19.

At this point, only kids from certain provinces and territories can book a vaccine appointment.

But for some, the trip from getting approved to rolling up their sleeves has been a fast one.

Juniper Falvo from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, was one of the first Canadian kids in that age group to get the shot.

The 15-year-old got vaccinated on May 6.

CBC Kids News reached out to Juniper the day after to find out what the experience was like for her.

“If you’re scared of needles, trust me, I’m terrified of needles and it was honestly not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It barely hurt.” - Juniper Falvo, 15

This conversation has been edited for clarity and length.

Q: Were you nervous?

A: I am scared of needles, so there was that kind of stress. But about the vaccine itself, I was mostly just excited about it. I know there’s been controversy about it on the internet, about the possible side-effects and complications that people have had from it, but I tend to try and not believe everything I see on the internet, and I’ve had some family members down south that have gotten it and knew I’d be pretty safe.

Q: What was it like getting the vaccine?

A: The site I got was set up at a mall in one of the abandoned storerooms. We walked in and they handed me a mask. We all had to use hand sanitizer, and we all lined up and got registered with our health card, and they gave us a little card that said first dose and wrote down when I’d be eligible for my next dose, which is in three weeks.

➡️  EDITOR’S NOTE: Although Juniper is eligible for her second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in three weeks, she might not be able to make an appointment for that second dose right away. The government in the Northwest Territories hasn’t yet announced when this age group will be allowed to sign up for their second dose.

After I was done registering, I went next door. A nurse brought me to a chair and it went by really quick. It was, like, three minutes, in total. She gave me some information — some of the side-effects I might get and how the vaccine works — and then she gave me the shot. Afterwards, I had to wait for 15 minutes in case I had any severe reactions.

Although Juniper Falvo is afraid of needles, she said getting her vaccine wasn’t nearly as bad as she thought it would be. (Image submitted by Juniper Falvo)

In terms of the needle, it was actually one of the less painful needles I’ve ever had. It was a slight pinch, like someone poking you with a pen — not even — and after that I felt nothing.

Q: Did you have any side-effects?

A: It didn’t hurt at all the day I got the shot. It did hurt a bit on my arm the next day. It was a pretty minor pain. And I was kind of burning up a bit an hour or two after getting it, but the fever wasn’t severe.

Q: What would you say to other kids who may be nervous about getting the COVID-19 vaccine?

A: If you have the opportunity, you really should take the chance to get the vaccine. It will really help our community and our family and the future. It’s just one step closer to finding an end to the pandemic.

And if you’re scared of needles, trust me, I’m terrified of needles and it was, honestly, not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. It barely hurt and doesn’t hurt that much after.

TOP IMAGE CREDIT: Submitted by Juniper Falvo

Was this story worth reading?