Worried bad reaction to vaccine might lead to low MCAT score

Hi all,

Firstly, thanks in advance for anyone taking the time to read this. So, I’ve been contacted by my university (in grad school) to schedule a day for me to get my first vaccine shot. I have my MCAT scheduled next month which would be right around the time I get my 2nd shot. My older brother had a pretty bad reaction to his 2nd shot (chills, body aches, etc.) – with symptoms persisting for about 3 days post-jab. I’m concerned scheduling my vaccine will eat up precious study time… or worse, come test day. Does anyone have any thoughts/opinions/advice on how I should go about all of this?

I’m already taking my MCAT pretty late (first time) and I’m not sure if it’s wise to postpone it until June. I’ll be applying for MD/PhD programs, which puts me up against some of the best applicants already. I’m a non-trad so my GPA isn’t stellar but have a strong upward trend (3.2ish cum; 3.8+ish for last 70 units). For context, after experiencing some trauma, I dropped out of high school at 16 and spent many years in community college (poor grades + many W’s). A long journey of self-discovery and healing culminated with me graduating college in 2019. I’m currently a researcher in charge of my own projects (with 2 upcoming publications). I also started an organization last year that offers peer support to disabled adults in addition to being in grad school.

Due to my age and financial reasons, this will probably be my first and last time applying to medical school. It’s something I’ve always dreamed about doing but didn’t think was going to happen until last year. After some debate, I finally decided to at least try. I have pretty bad anxiety… so test taking has always been an issue for me. Any advice would be much appreciated! Thanks again!

Call your university and explain what’s going on and try to get your shot moved up a week or two, if not, see if you can get an appointment via other means (CVS or state run) in the area that is sooner and book that. If you can get an earlier one, cancel the appointment through your university, and avoid the anxiety all together.

Thanks for the reply! I was hoping to get vaccinated later so that I would get the 2nd shot after I took the MCAT. I appreciate your suggestion as I didn’t even think to call and explain my situation. I think I just got caught up thinking delaying my shot would be frowned upon or selfish of me… or something. Anyway, thanks again!

You’re a human, it’s not selfish, I mean they’re not going to throw away the dose. Just make sure you try to make moves early or contact them so they can fill the spot or get you into a sooner spot that someone else has opened.