RMSMC gets vaccinated: Learn about the staff’s experiences

Anna Schwabe

graphic illustration depicting a CSU person receiving the COVID-19 vaccine
(Graphic illustration by Robbie Haynes | The Collegian)

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on kcsufm.com.

As of April 2, every adult over age 16 in Colorado gained eligibility to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. KCSU is celebrating by sharing stories of Rocky Mountain Student Media staff and volunteers getting their vaccines.

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Information about the vaccines and getting vaccinated are dispersed through the article. At the bottom, find links to register for vaccination appointments.

Maddy Erskine
Local music director, KCSU
(she/they)

Maddy poses holding a a lizard, showing off the Band-Aid on their arm.
Maddy Erskine holds their lizard after getting their second vaccine dose April 24. (Photo courtesy of Maddy Erskine)

Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved three COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use: Moderna, Pfizer BioNTech and Janssen, commonly known as Johnson & Johnson. Moderna and Pfizer’s vaccines require two doses given several weeks apart to be effective, and Janssen only requires one.

Kota Babcock
News director, KCSU
(he/him)

Kota in his car as gloved hands inject the vaccine into his arm.
Kota Babcock receives his vaccine through a car window April 21. (Photo courtesy of Kota Babcock)

COVID-19 vaccines are currently free in Colorado, whether or not you have insurance. The vaccine administrators may ask you for your insurance card, but you should not be asked to pay for it by them or your insurance company, and you should not be turned away for not having an insurance card.

Jake Sherlock
Student media adviser & corporate communication manager, RMSMC
(he/him)

Jake with wide eyes as gloved hands and and needle give him a vaccine in his car.
Jake Sherlock receives his second dose of a vaccine through the window of a car April 21. (Photo courtesy of Jake Sherlock)

You do not need to be a U.S. citizen or have any proof of lawful presence to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Colorado. Additionally, ICE cannot be active at or near vaccination sites, and information from these vaccinations cannot be used against you in public charge determinations.

Abby Vander Graaff
Content managing editor, The Collegian
(she/her)

Abby holding up a vaccine card from inside of a car.
Abby Vander Graaff holds up her vaccination card after receiving her final vaccine dose April 21. (Photo courtesy of Abby Vander Graaff)

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, vaccinated individuals are fully protected starting two weeks after their final dose of the vaccine. After this time, they can also safely visit personal residences of other vaccinated individuals or those at low risk of developing severe disease and travel without a pre- or post-test or quarantine period. Medium and large gatherings are still not recommended.

Kellie Trimmer
Marketing manager, RMSMC
(she/her)

Kellie looks at the camera as a hand touches her arm
Kellie Trimmer receives her vaccine April 3. (Photo courtesy of Kellie Trimmer)

NoCo Gets Vaccinated is a program made to provide information and services, specifically for Black, Indigenous and Latinx communities, about vaccinations. These communities have a much lower rate of vaccination than the white community in Northern Colorado, and the CDC reports that these communities are also affected by hospitalizations and deaths significantly more than the white community. NoCo Gets Vaccinated wants to change that.

Anna Schwabe
Web editor, KCSU
(she/her)

Anna smiles in a cubicle with white background.
Anna Schwabe waits in a makeshift cubicle for her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine April 4. She biked from Fort Collins to Loveland to get her vaccine. (Photo courtesy of Anna Schwabe)

Ben Krueger
Training director, 2021-22 station manager, KCSU
(he/him)

Ben Krueger had an adventure while getting his vaccine April 3. Read his account in his own words.

The setup:

“It was a bright and sunny day, far away from a cloudy day.

“I scheduled (the vaccine) out of my UCHealth app and went to the Medical Center of the Rockies because it was the one my sister was getting hers at two hours earlier. We did not overlap.

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“I ran in and talked to the people about getting the vaccine. I was in line for a few minutes, then sat down to get the shot.”

The vaccine:

“They asked what arm (I) wanted it in. I thought about which arm I slept on, and … I exclaimed, ‘Right arm!’ excitedly.

“The nurse at this point in time was on my left, so I did what any good individual would do and started turning the chair around.

“She started telling me that she would come around, so sheepishly I turned my chair back.

“I just didn’t want her to have to get up if she was sitting.”

The wait:

“Before I (went) to the observation area, I got my (vaccination) card.

“I heard an exclamation behind me.

“‘Would you look at that?’ I hear a man say.

“I turned around to see what he was looking at. It was a TV showing random deep-sea water critters. Everyone was entranced.

“Then we all ‘ooohed’ and ‘ahhhed’ — it was more of just the old man and his wife and me silently ‘ooohing’ and ‘ahhhing.’

“After my seven minutes of observation, I got up and made a break for it.”

The escape:

“I left and tried going back the way I came, (but) I don’t think I read the signage correctly.

“But this other man was with me, so I kept pushing forward. This person and I were committed to leaving the way we had come now, so I asked (an) employee if I could leave up the stairs, and they said yes, only (for us) to be thwarted by a potted plant at the top of the stairwell.

“It was placed perfectly so people would walk around it. This man looked at me, I looked back and we both nodded and slinked past it.

“I left filled with joy, excitement for tomorrow, a new friend … and knowledge of some deep-sea critters — and (of course) live music making a comeback.”

Rachel Rasmussen
Marketing specialist, RMSMC
(she/her)

Rachel poses with her vaccine card from inside a car.
Rachel Rasmussen shows off her vaccine card after getting her vaccine March 25. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Rasmussen)

Larimer and Weld Counties have put together a document of guidelines for vaccine providers. The purpose of the document is to attempt to make vaccine rollout as equitable as possible. The document includes guidelines for engagement, access barriers and communication.

Hannah Copeland
General manager, KCSU
(she/her)

Hannah receiving a vaccine through a car window
Hannah Copeland received her first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine March 24. Gov. Jared Polis visited her car while she was there. Read an article by The Loveland Reporter-Herald here. (Photo courtesy of Hannah Copeland)

Registering for a COVID-19 vaccine:

Larimer County is offering vaccinations. Click here for its vaccination information page and a link to signing up for an appointment.

Colorado also has a directory of businesses offering vaccination appointments. Click here to find a compilation of links through which you can register at places like King Soopers and Walmart.

UCHealth is offering appointments to those who join a waiting list, even for those who are not UCHealth members. Click here to find out how to get on the list.

Colorado State University’s SOURCE put out an article with information about getting vaccinated and places to look for an appointment. Click here to view the article.