“I need vaccination, vaccination, vaccination…”
and I got it! My first shot anyway. Yup, this afternoon, I got my first COVID vaccine.
You might be wondering why the heck I was able to get a vaccine right now. You didn’t think I was quite that old yet. Well I’m not, but I have medical conditions that cause my immune response to be not as vigorous as it should be, so I was able to get in. I was considered among the high risk group for this region. I know every region has its own ideas about who gets prioritized, but I was able to get one here.
The whole process has been pretty easy. There were definitely some hurdles, but not nearly what I thought there would be. The registration form was pretty good. I wish they had associated the labels with the form fields, but I could figure out what was what and get registered. I did that last weekend. I figured I would be waiting at least four to six weeks, so I sat back and whistled my happy waiting song.
To my total shock, I got a text message on Thursday saying I could book an appointment! I was so excited that I scrambled to the webpage while I was listening to a presentation. I’m a terrible human. But all that scrambling was for naught because the website thwarted my attempt to book. First of all, they imposed a 7-minute time-limit. Aside: Seven minutes feels like a very random number. How did they figure out that folks in KW need seven minutes to book their appointments? Apparently people in one other town need five minutes, and people in another one need ten! Who went around from town to town to make that decision?
I probably could have been able to pull off the time limit but one of the fields, the one for my date of birth, was an inaccessible datepicker and I took too long figuring out that it was inaccessible. So I called the number and after waiting for about a half-hour or so, I got connected to a very nice man who got me all set up. To my shock once again, he was able to book me in for Sunday afternoon! And no, it wasn’t at the Achoo People site. This one was at King and Victoria. If I had been working at the office, I could have walked there.
I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’d been hearing lots of blind people worrying about how they were going to navigate a mass vaccination clinic, so I was imagining problems. But everybody was super helpful and it ran like a dream. I did arrive slightly earlier than they expected, but they were forgiving, and told me it was all good. One of the first volunteers was a little confused by the presents of Tansy, but she got over it and things went off without a hitch. The staff guided me from station to station, filled out the screening forms and took me into the place where the vaccination was given.
After asking me some questions about what group I fell into, whether I was allergic to any medications or foods, whether I was allergic to a couple of ingredients in the vaccine, and whether I had a tendency to keel over after getting needles, they gave me the shot. It was the Pfizer one if anyone’s curious. The nurse was super nice and never made me feel like she was in a rush.
Then they took me to an area where I was supposed to wait for 15 minutes. They asked me if I had a way of checking the time and I said I did, so they marked that down on the little slip. At the end, they took me over to the checkout desk where I got a paper showing I had been vaccinated and when I would be coming back, along with a sheet explaining what side-effects are probably nothing to worry about and what side-effects need medical attention. The info was basically ordinary stuff like if you have a wee headache, take a pain killer and have a snooze but if you’re convulsing, you probably should get thee to an ER. As for when I come back for the second shot, July 25 is a good day.
The only other slight weirdness was as I left the exit door and asked where to stand to call a taxi, they said taxis can’t come in here, I would have to go around the building and find the taxi area. Luckily, one of the volunteers was headed that way with someone else, so we walked there together.
So here we go. I’m on my way to not having to be so afraid of this stupid virus. I know I’m not able to be wild and free just yet, but after a couple of weeks, not everything I do has to be so much of a giant risk assessment.