Tennis Balls and Boxed Wine: What You Bought After the Covid Shot

We asked readers who were vaccinated at pharmacies if they impulsively treated themselves before they left. Here are some of their stories.

“I wanted to buy something, but had done my grocery shopping the day before. I walked by the flowers and the bouquet caught my eye.” — Sidney Johnson, Marietta, Ga.Credit…

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Photo Illustrations by Kyle Berger

Produced by Alana Celii

The 15 minutes after getting a Covid shot can be a time of profound emotion, a moment of relief or gratitude or release as you wait to make sure you don’t have a bad reaction to the vaccine.

So we were curious: If you got vaccinated in a pharmacy, did you wander the aisles while you waited, and if so, did you treat yourself to something impulsive or important or out of character?

We recently ask readers what they indulged in. We received hundreds of responses. You told us stories of celebration, practicality, and occasional mishaps — and we asked our photographer Kyle Berger to re-envision some of those stories. Here are a select few with your responses, edited and condensed for clarity.

A boozy match

What items did you buy during your observation period? I bought a can of Penn tennis balls and a four-pack of High Noon hard seltzers. I then went from the pharmacy to the tennis courts to meet a friend who was also vaccinated that day. We played a boozy match with sore arms, where we were both incredibly woozy and dry-mouthed. The next day was brutal.

Why did you buy these items? Celebratory! We were excited to get out in the world and be active together after getting the vaccine. We probably should’ve waited a few days before the side effects subsided.

— Thea Traff, Los Angeles

A gift for heroes

What items did you buy during your observation period? As a twist on this question, I did not buy something for myself in the moment but bought a big pile of gourmet chocolate bars for the staff giving shots. I tied the pile in a big Aqua ribbon and gave it to the man who administered my shot. I asked him to share it with the others.

Why did you buy these items? Everyone working to vaccinate our community is a hero. I’m grateful for what they do and what they put up with!

— Kari Nelsestuen, Portland, Ore.

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