COVID Vaccination

The county texted me that I could get my vaccination the next day between noon and one at the fairgrounds. I had put John’s name on the list first, so we assumed rightly that he would be able to get his, as well. We joined the line of cars slowly moving up the hill at the fairgrounds. Workers talked to us on both sides of the car, giving us forms to fill out and putting a sticky note on the windshield in front of us. Anyone taking a blood thinner was marked with a sheet of paper under the wiper. Two lines formed inside the first barn as workers checked our forms. We moved into one line again to approach the second barn.

We split into two lines again, giving me a chance to take a photo of the other line. John and I got our shots at the same time, along with cards to get the second dose in 28 days.

The exit line snaked down the hill. Workers checked our time, making sure we had been on site for the required 15 minutes after the vaccinations. A traffic cop waved us onto the highway, and we were through! We never got out of the car. I thought the operation was very smooth and efficient. Most of the workers were inside the two spacious barns. If we get snow and rain the next few days, they will be nicely sheltered as they work.

It’s really amazing that the vaccine was developed so quickly. Each state is responsible for organizing its distribution. John said West Virginia and Florida were ahead of everyone else. We got ours sooner than I thought we would, but we will continue to be careful until after the second dose.

I would love to hear about your experience of getting the vaccine or some of the things you have gone through during the pandemic. These have been strange times.

64 thoughts on “COVID Vaccination

  1. Debi and I got our first shots last week at our hospital in Springfield. They’re part of the Hospital Sisters Healthcare System, a main distribution hub from here down to the Illinois suburbs of St. Louis, and they had enough doses left over from the allotment for their staff to make them available to people in their records system. So last week we got emails saying we were eligible by age (and underlying conditions?) … so we immediately made appointments and went in a couple days later. The vaccination clinic was set up in a large multipurpose conference room, and it was a lot like college registration back in my day. Check in on the sidewalk outside, preregister in an atrium outside the conference center, register again at a long folding table set up with a half dozen computers, go on to a bank of smaller folding tables staffed by a nurse, who poked us, and a tech (?) who entered the data in a computer and set up an appointment for Feb. 12. (Lincoln’s birthday! A good omen in these parts!) They had folding chairs set up near the exit — socially distanced, of course — where we waited and left (on our honor) after 15 minutes. It was partly staffed by volunteers in the non-technical positions — one of my old students from Benedictine was helping do intake.

    The whole thing was very smooth and well organized, and there was kind of a festive atmosphere all around. I’ve never seen people so happy to get a shot!

    We even got swag — a campaign button and a face mask with the St. John’s HSHS logo on it. Our county health department has set up a drive-through facility similar to yours; they have longer wait times because supplies of the vaccine are so limited. I think Debi and I were lucky to be in the HSHS system and take advantage of what they’d set up for their employees and patients. I don’t know this for a fact, but it seems like a beta run for an expanded vaccination program later when it’s opened up community-wide.

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  2. I missed my notice to get my vaccine, so i re-registered with the county health dept. Each of us is in a different category.

    I am eligible under the second wave also, Scott is getting his on Feb 4, at the developmental disabilities school. Carol had her vaccine in Lake County about three weeks ago (she is a nurse.). Other family members either are not going to vaccine. The vaccine was rolled out sooner than I expected.

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      1. The question seemed easy enough, “what if I missed my appointment,” but I had to call a elders-help post on the internet, and it took awhile for the woman to answer my question. I am waiting for a call now, but apparently they just put us slackers in the next phase, which is B-1. There are no appointments until next week. Apparently the main criteria is the availability of the vaccine.

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      2. I spent three hours standing in line at a county health clinic, all in category 65 and over… I missed the notice when they first did “over 80s.” There were hundreds of people who snaked our way through the lines inside the huge gymnasium. (I should probably say it was thousands all told. Then I don’t know how many others got turned around inside the building complex and wandered around in the wrong parking lot…which I did for a good 45 minutes…but I was not alone, there were plenty of others wandering around in the lot…so I didn’t feel so stupid, just cold…. brrr

        My poor old legs managed to stand for a total of at least 4 hours, counting the various lines and the parking lot. I am proud to say that thanks to my red metal cane, which turned out to be worth every penny I paid at Walgreens.
        No chance of anyone feeling sorry for the old lady, as almost everyone there was an old woman…excepting for the old guys. πŸ˜‰

        Son Scott will get his vaccine at the (Developmental Disabilities) center tomorrow. They will come to the house and pick him up and take him to the vaccine place and then bring him back home. What a godsend!
        I must say that the procedure the health dept used to administer the vaccines…from police in the parking lot was very well organized. I only saw one man cut in line.
        There were only about eight stations nurses at any one time actually administering the Vaccine. Then they were relieved periodically.

        I have to go back to the same location for my second vaccine dose on February 23. It only takes about 15 minutes to get to the County Community College from where I live.

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        1. That is not humane to have older folks STANDING in line over four hours! We were very pleased that we just rolled along in our car and never got out for our vaccine. Hooray for your red cane! I’m glad it helped you. I have a green cane, but I wouldn’t have thought to take it to a vaccination center. I’m so glad you have had the first dose. Has Lar had his?

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          1. This was the first time they had a vaccine clinic at the college, and it seemed to be working well, when I was there anyway. The lines were orderly, and kept moving smoothly. This was one of the Lorain County clinics. They had one at our fire station here in town, a drive-through set-up like you showed in your pic, but that apparently was a huge problem for back up and congestion near the fire station. I go back to the same place in three weeks for my second dose. Pfizer was the one I had. My son is having his today, Moderno.
            They are hoping to set up a drive through at the college, but it is so darn cold.
            Carol went through a drive-through clinic set up in an empty parking garage, she is having her second shot this week.
            As for the cane…I am trying to remember to use it, and in fact I use it almost all the time at home, especially at night. I have fallen so I am trying to pay attention. πŸ™‚ I don’t think I would have been able to stand so long without it. Others had walkers, etc. and a few had a small camping stool they moved along.

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                  1. I remember standing in line for polio shots and again for the sugar-cube polio dose (the Salk vaccine?). We were on an army base I think.
                    We were extra conscious of polio, as my sister had it when she was four, and was hospitalized for an entire year; also my step-father had had polio as a 7-year-old years before.

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                    1. I was in high school when my 4 year old sister had polio. Then the Sabin vaccine was invented, and then the Salk vaccine was the sugar-cube one. My sister had the “crippling” type of polio, the other being the breathing type where some patients used the iron lung.

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                    2. My step-dad had a very bad limp, wore a built-up shoe. As an adult he was a iron worker…up on high beams building skyscrapers, etc., so apparently the polio had not kept him from work.

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          2. oh…once we passed into the room where the lines for the actual “shot lines” there were categories set up and we were asked upon entering if we had trouble standing. There was a shorter line for those who needed it, and it was easier to actually sit “in line.”

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              1. I always try to see the bright side…my daughter thinks it was terrible that they had a clinic with hundreds of people standing around. I think the logistics were mysterious, but they did a fabulous job at management. I hear there were a total of 47 workers…nurses, police, various workers. I was amazed at the event. Now I hear that the pharmacies are going to start up finally…I don’t know how they can get the whole population vaccinated.
                By the way…I think your green cane would be just as efficient as my red one. πŸ˜‰

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                1. I’ve had my green cane for about ten years, but my walking was totally dependent on it only two and a half years. Once you’ve had a cane, I think you should keep it handy the rest of your life.

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                  1. My grandfather walked with a cane, he was badly injured in an explosion at Standard Oil Company as a young man, was bedridden for awhile, then pensioned for the rest of his life. I was fascinated by his cane collection. πŸ™‚

                    I try to use my cane regularly, as I fell a couple of times and I want to try to stay intact. πŸ™‚ I am always searching for my cane, of course.

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                    1. πŸ™‚ Actually Grandpa used his canes, I suspect that the “collection” was something I embellish the story with. He had several, though, and they seemed to have been gathered in a big container by the front door. I think some he was given as gifts, too.

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  3. Anne, I’m so glad you and John have had your first vaccination! Yeah!πŸ˜€ It all looks well organised and what a good idea with a car drive-thru – saves queueing in the cold and rain and being too near to other people. Much safer! The rollout is going well here in the UK but I am way down the list but hope for my first in April! Fingers crossed however the second dose is anyone’s guess as the government are doing three months between vaccinations!

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    1. The workers did not have to sanitize anything as we went through, because we didn’t touch anything outside of the car. I had no idea they were doing the vaccinations three months apart in the UK. Maybe that will give them time to get all the supplies they need.

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      1. The long gap is controversial but they are trying to save more lives, effectively doubling the number vaccinated immediately! The suppliers have not any data to really support this. Oh well …

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  4. My husband had his 2 weeks ago at our local hospital. Easy peasy (and no nothing bad happened except for a sore arm). The local hospitals are concentrating on age 75 and above so I wasn’t eligible. I am signed up there when it opens up for me and also at two pharmacy chains who are giving it to anyone 65+. The actual experience has been smooth but getting an appointment is hit or miss. My niece and her husband (both over 65) were able to get one yesterday. Their son was on a pharmacy website all day and snagged an apt as it came up. I’m not that patient. I figure as more people get vaccinated, I will be safer while I wait for my turn. I talked to my doc yesterday at an apt for something else and the real issue here is lack of sufficient vaccines. I was very glad to hear that he was 2 weeks out from his second shot and would 95% immune in another two weeks. Safer medical offices makes me happy too.

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  5. “Each state is responsible for organizing its distribution.” My goodness, yes, don’t I know it.

    I’m too young, too health, and too insignificant to even make a list yet. At first it was to early February, now it looks like it’ll be mid-March for me. And then our state is the worst in having the second jabs, so even if I get the first one, will there be a second one?

    Thus I continue to wait at home, every day, for almost a year now. Bored am I.

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  6. This is wonderful news and it was so organized. My mom in Canada had had her first vaccination and I am so glad. No news yet here in Spain when we can expect our first shot. They are vaccinating the care home residents and health care workers first, which is only right. We will wait for our turn and stay safe.

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  7. It seems that they are putting a lot of effort into making it easy. My dad lives in an apartment complex for seniors. He got notice from the management that CVS Pharmacy would be coming to the apartment complex do the vaccines. He had a registration form to fill out and return to the management the day before then was given a time to report to the location where they were doing it. He said it went very well and he didn’t experience any side effects. They will be returning soon to give the second dose.

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  8. Our state is so far behind. My sister lives in Florida and has had her first shot already. We are nowhere near a place where we would be able to get ours. Our county is still vaccinating health care workers only. Good for you for getting the vaccine!

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  9. Good for you two!! You are so lucky! Canada received some doses but now we’ve run into a snag – Pfizer in Europe (where our doses have been coming from) stopped sending any because they said they’re enlarging their premises in Belgium. So nothing is coming for a couple of weeks!! Meanwhile most if not all of our healthcare workers plus older people in nursing homes have got their shots. But folks like John and me are still waiting. (Moderna sent some doses but since their storage/freezing requirements are less stringent than that of Pfizer, they were all sent to far northern communities, and other distant rural areas.) Sigh… Patience..

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    1. Our area is fairly rural, and we got the Moderna vaccine. A friend in Germany, in my age range, got his shot, and there will be a second dose for him. He had pictures of a huge hall for the vaccinations, and there was one other person in there. He said the EU cut back the supplies for Germany.

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      1. I was going to say “sounds excellent” – until you mentioned cutting back supplies. Sigh. There seems to be quite a bit of cutting back going on, globally. This is a real test of patience, I tell you.

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  10. Mom is still on a waiting list with no ate in sight, even though she is 87 and has a heart condition. So glad you got yours, and that it went smoothly.

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    1. The personal observations from NY have all been terrible. One of John’s train friends drove to the Javit’s Center in Manhattan and got the vaccine. I think I’d rather die than do that! Hope Emma gets the shot soon.

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  11. That sounds easy and breezy how you and John got your vaccinations and I like that they are already saving the second dose for you – that is efficient. It is anything but efficient here in Michigan, though the City of Detroit has a mayor who once was the CEO of a very large hospital, has really run things efficiently and the model is one that President Biden is using for other large cities. They even have volunteers to shuttle those people who don’t drive to the big centers where they are giving shots. I hope it is easy for me when the time comes and I can reserve the second shot (something that is also also a big problem here).

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