For nearly a year, Glenn and Janice Shelden have been playing it safe, doing their best to avoid contracting COVID-19 by staying in their home as much as possible and social distancing when in public. The couple even stopped attending their regular church services at Central Church in Bryan, Texas.
"We attended Sunday morning services, but we miss congregating with our church family," Mr. Shelden said.
The virus, which began running rampant in the United States in early 2020, can be especially dangerous for individuals over the age of 75 and people with comorbidities including asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and more.
While following CDC-recommended guidelines is an effective way to keep from getting COVID-19, many people are eager to "return to normal" and socialize with loved ones again. Once the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the Brazos Valley, thousands signed up to be notified when they could schedule an appointment.
Mr. Shelden, 76, and Mrs. Shelden, 75, were relieved and grateful when they learned they were in priority group 1B, the second group of individuals able to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The Sheldens signed up on multiple lists to be contacted for an appointment, but St. Joseph Health was the first organization that got back to them.
The Sheldens received their vaccines at St. Joseph Health Regional Hospital. Mr. Shelden said he and his wife were pleasantly surprised when they arrived, as there was not a large crowd of individuals waiting to receive the vaccine. Although there was a bit of a wait at registration due to paperwork, he and his wife felt the overall experience at the clinic was very positive and smooth, and they were impressed that they were done with the process in just 45 minutes.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Shelden experienced some tenderness in their arms where the vaccine was administered, but other than that, both felt great and didn’t experience any other side effects. They are looking forward to receiving the second dose of the vaccine, which will be given 28 days after the initial dose
"We’re looking forward to a time when we can move on from this pandemic," Mr. Shelden said. "I was amazed to see this virus bring our nation to its knees. It’s phenomenal that this vaccine was created so quickly."