Community

Vaccine experience a boost to morale

Yay! Jim and I were able to get our first COVID-19 vaccine shots last Sunday. We pre-registered with the Lane County Public Health department and once our age groups became eligible, we watched my email account for invitations to schedule our appointments.

Jim was eligible a week before I was, and two days after I became eligible, the invitation arrived. It was an easy process. We were allowed to select the time(s) we wanted to get the shot the following Sunday. A pop-up list appeared with available times and how many shots were available for each.

I selected 10:45 a.m. for both of us and noticed that there were 33 injections available at that time. We were to report to a large parking area above Lane Community College.

That morning, we left an hour early, although the drive to LCC usually only takes us a little over a half-hour. I wanted to make sure that if we were delayed in any manner along the way, that we wouldn’t be late.

With almost a half-hour to spare, we decided to park in the Albertsons parking lot at the bottom of the hill for about 15 minutes so we could again read the instructions showing us where we needed to go once we got to LCC, in order to kill some time. We noticed that people in a couple of other cars in the lot seemed to be doing the same thing.

With 15 minutes to go, we pulled out and headed to LCC, thinking that they might have us wait a little longer at one of their lower parking areas until 10:45 rolled around. But we masked up and proceeded up the hill once we arrived on campus and followed the cars ahead of us to the top where there were several white tents set up and quite a few parking attendants, in orange vests, telling us what line to get into.

After our reservations had been verified with the authorization codes that had been issued to us, a felt-tip marker was used to put two marks on our car’s windshield to indicate that both of us were authorized to get the vaccine.

Then, we were each given a clipboard with paperwork to fill out. Unfortunately, I only had one pen in my purse, so at the next stop I asked to borrow another pen so I wouldn’t be holding up the line by filling out both of our forms myself. By then, we were under one of the white tents and were cheerfully greeted by the volunteer who would be administering our shots to us through the car windows. Even though we had been asked to list any severe reactions we have had to vaccinations on the paperwork, she checked with us about any allergies to medication we may have had in the past. I told her about two meds that I am allergic to, and she asked me about my reactions to each (hives for one and swelling of my lips for another). She explained that because of this, after the shot was administered, we would have to pull into a small parking area reserved for those who must remain for another 30 minutes to be watched for possible reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine. It was a price I was more than willing to pay.

Once she was sure that we were ready to get our shots, as the driver of the car, I was given mine in my left arm and Jim, as passenger, got his in his right bicep. It was a wonderful feeling as she pulled the needle from my arm. 

I felt freer at that moment than I have felt for over a year. We were then handed our cards showing the date, time and identifying number of the Pfizer vaccine lot we had been given. The volunteer then looked at her watch and recorded the time on my windshield so that my 30-minute quarantine could begin from that point; then, she pointed out where we needed to park and informed us that we would be notified in three weeks about the booster shot. Within a half-hour, we were on our way back home. We have had no adverse reactions to the vaccine other than the usual, very mild, and hardly noticeable soreness at the vaccine site.

The whole process was so well-organized that we have nothing but praise for the LCPH employees and volunteers who planned it. Thank you!

I encourage everyone to pre-register with the Lane County Public Health department online or, at 541-682-1380.

We can do this! We just might be able to resume “life” again by this summer. Fingers crossed!

Website: allthingslorane.com