Officially, I was in phase III of the statewide vaccination plan; telecommunications work is ‘essential’. That shift from phase II to phase III was only about two weeks long before Oklahoma moved to phase IV. During the time we were in phase III, I was trying to find where and how to register for my Covid shot. The people that I know who were able to find a vaccination slot either found it by accident of being in the right place at the right time, or knew someone who had health care connections. Online, I couldn’t find a slot within a hundred miles of my house. and that came with a two week wait.
But when it opened to the general public, I went online and vaccinateok.com had the connection to Immy Labs which had slots open on March 31 for every time frame. That was only ten days away at the time. Maybe Immy Labs had just opened them. Maybe I was getting lucky. Or maybe vaccinateok’s online ‘act’ was finally ‘getting it together’. Whatever the case, I made my appointment and then showed Thea how to make hers. Our appointments were for 11:15 on the 31st. My phone immediately got a text telling me not to reply to it and that I’d get an email telling me more. The email showed up seconds after the text telling me more. Like that they were using the Pfizer vaccine and that the location was going to be at the Bennett Event Center on the Fairgrounds, and to be early but not too early.
What little vaccine research I did, and from word of mouth, the Pfizer vaccine is the highest regarded one. But all of them are highly efficacious. If I had someone show up with all three, I still think that I would choose the Johnson&Johnson simply because it’s just one shot and you’re done. In what can surely be called a coincidence, after making our appointments, our friend David told us of the vaccination effort going on at the OU Armory using the J&J one-shot wonder. We, however, had already made appointments and arrangements. Yes, we could have scrapped them and hightailed it down to Norman. But Thea felt more secure with the Pfizer since it is by-the-numbers more likely to produce a better result.
The day-of was anticlimactic to all the best laid plans. I mean, there were a lot of unknowns that I tried to take into account. I left forty minutes early to account for a twenty minute drive in case there was ten minutes of traffic so that we could be ten minutes early. We wore easily shed jackets and loose shirts in case we were lined up out into the parking lot. We had a snack just before leaving in case the line was more than an hour long so we’d not be starving. As it was, none of it was necessary. There was no traffic. You’d hardly know that there was an event going on from the parking lot. The military greeters at the door let us know that we were at the right spot. Walking in, we were directed to go right and then joined in our walking by a tableted technician who verified our information while we made our way to be seated. Once seated, I was greeted by Jesi and Jim. Jesi rechecked my information and that I wasn’t allergic to shellfish nor had I had a recent anaphylactic episode due to my hypoglycemia. Jim, for his part, waited patiently until the last question was answered before swooping in, swabbing my arm, injecting, withdrawing the needle and adding a band-aid. Four steps done in almost a single fluid motion from sheer repetition. This was the same Jim who was my phlebotomist last year in the crusade to get my neck was fixed. Even behind the mask, he was a familiar face. They moved on. A new face showed up in front of us and said that we’d need to wait in our seats for fifteen minutes and that if we needed attention for any reason to raise our hand and we would be attended to. It was not necessary to move from our seat. I got out my headphones and started Pandora. After a few minutes of trouble pairing the bluetooth of my phone to the headphones, and fewer than two songs on Pandora, they motioned us to rise and we were told we could go. By the time we returned to the car, it had just reached the time of our actual appointment; 11:15.
My arm for the next two days was a touch sore and a little swollen. But honestly, I may have had more reaction to the adhesive of the band-aid. There was still a visible redness from the right angle three days later.
Next appointment. 11:15 April 21