Students share their experiences with the COVID-19 vaccine

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The COVID-19 vaccine has made its way across the state and some students have already had the opportunity to get vaccinated. 

Jacob Rater, senior health services management major, became eligible for the vaccine after he started his new job at Indiana University Health and just received his Pfizer vaccine. 

“I work at IU health in a patient care setting so I qualified to get it as a nonclinical worker,” Rater said.

“I go back on March 17 to get my second dose of the vaccine,” he added. 

According to, Indiana is in “Phase 1-B” of Hoosiers who are eligible to receive the vaccine. Meaning anyone aged 50 and older can register to get either the Pfizer, Moderna, or the Johnson & Johnson dose of the vaccine. 

This phase is in addition to healthcare personnel, long-term care facility residents, anyone working in a congregate living facility for youth, and first responders who made up the initial round of Indiana residents eligible to receive the vaccine during “Phase 1-A” of the vaccination rollout. 

Luckily for Rater, post vaccine symptoms weren’t an issue. 

“I didn’t experience any symptoms other than a little bit of arm soreness and a small bruise at the injection site,” Rater said. 

Unfortunately, for other students who received their vaccination, post vaccine symptoms were prevalent.

Jacob McNutt, a student at the IU School of Medicine, said he acquired many side effects linked to the vaccine.  

McNutt said he had a fever, muscle aches, and malaise, which is a general feeling of illness, as well as injection site discomfort after receiving both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. 

He was eligible to receive the vaccine because of his status as a medical student. 

“Medical students were prioritized because we volunteer to administer the vaccine,” McNutt said. 

McNutt said that volunteering to administer the vaccine means students and other administrators come in contact with hundreds of people throughout their shift. So making sure they are vaccinated is one of the main priorities for various clinics located around Indiana. 

Jason Inglert, recent IUPUI graduate who works in an optometrists office, said there was no hesitation once he found out he would be a part of the initial round of Hoosiers eligible to get vaccinated in “Phase 1-A” of the vaccine rollout.

“I would like to reach herd immunity safely,” Inglert said “I feel at this point it’s either get the vaccine or get coronavirus,” he continued. 

With three different vaccines authorized by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, getting to herd immunity can be reached sooner than expected. 

“They are a lot quicker at manufacturing and I believe in the CDC and science,” Inglert concluded. 

You can find out when you are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine here 


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