Today was a big day for me as I was one of the fortunate ones to receive my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

My appointment was for 12:15 sharp at the Convention Center in Atlantic City, and if you know me, I usually like to get to appointments on the early side, so it was closer to 11:30 when I rolled into the Convention Center's underground garage.

From there, I was split into two lines, one for appointments before 12 and one for those who were scheduled after 12 PM or, who showed up 45 minutes early for their appointment like I did. I then noticed a sign that asks you to show up at the door 15 minutes before your appointment. Good to know for my next visit.

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Members of the New Jersey National Guardsmen and women were positioned at the door and throughout the Convention Center doing an outstanding job of keeping things organized and answering any questions.

After a temperature scan, and a quick check in, I found myself sitting at a table with a AtlaniCare nurse waiting for my shot. I have to admit, I am the world's biggest baby when it comes to needles. I guess the nurse sensed my apprehension, and was extremely patient with me. Thankfully!

After a few breathe in and breathe out sessions my shot was over and a wave of relief washed over me. My nurse was wonderful and answered all of my questions thoroughly. Trust me, there were many, many questions.

Word of advice for those with upcoming appointments - wear loose fitting clothing as the shot needs to be administered close to the top of your arm and near your shoulder.

After my shot, I was lead to another waiting room to make sure I didn't have any reactions to the vaccine, and before I knew it I was scheduled for my second dose (in case you didn't know, there's a three week wait period between the first and second shots), and on my way out the door.

I can't say enough about the New Jersey National Guardsmen and women, the staff of AtlantiCare and the Atlantic City Convention Center. Everything went so smoothly and was so well organized. I immediately treated myself to a big cup of Dunkin' and a jelly donut after my first COVID-19 vaccine experience.

Still need an appointment? Vaccine scheduling through AtlantiCare at the Atlantic City Mega Vaccination Site happens three times a week:

  • Tuesdays at 3 PM
  • Thursdays at 6 PM
  • Saturdays at 9 AM

You must create an account first in order to schedule an appointment.

Good luck!

South Jersey Pre-Pandemic Photos

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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