When can I get vaccinated?
Because my husband has volunteered for years at the Village Volunteers, formerly named the Greater Lewes Community Village, he was invited to attend the Jan. 16-18 Moderna vaccination event at the Dover DMV. Delaware Public Health added them to the priority list as they realized they had enough vaccines, and wanted to make certain none expired.
Melissa Steele’s Cape Gazette article, “State makes vaccinations available by appointment,” (Jan. 22 reported, “there was confusion over who was invited to receive the first vaccine on the Jan. 16-18 weekend.”
While I can’t speak to the eligibility of the participants, I want to acknowledge and thank Gov. John Carney and the DPH, and especially the hundreds of workers who guided us through the process with ease.
We arrived about 1:30 p.m., Jan. 18, and were greeted by the state police informing us to make a U-turn once the light turned green to join the queue. We crawled along at times and stopped in many different lots, but there were helpful and courteous people of every age group at every turn instructing us where to proceed. No horns blared and no tempers flared.
Sometimes we were lined up four lanes across, and just as you saw one lane move, you knew that eventually yours would be motioned forward when it was your turn.
At the end of the second hour of the journey to vaccination heaven, we saw that there were portable bathrooms. Many of us got out of our cars and used the facilities, which included hand sanitizer.
Volunteers passed out the registration forms, gave instructions and collected them at a later junction. The most amazing part of the experience was that every single volunteer was smiling and patiently answered our questions. How many times had they repeated their speech before we rolled down our window? Maybe 5,000 times or more.
Finally, we could see the tables under roof at the vehicle testing station. Our wait was two hours which seemed reasonable considering that thousands of people were there. Our paperwork was collected. An attendant asked us which arm we wanted to use. My husband’s left arm went out the driver side and my right arm went out the passenger side.
We were told to wait in the parking lot for 15 minutes to make sure we had no reaction. My reaction was to let the tears fall down my face. To let the months of fear and anxiety begin to abate. To feel hope that finally I can be reunited with family for the first time since Dec. 25, 2019.
Everyone vaccinated that weekend received a packet of information about v-safe. It is a smartphone tool that uses text messaging so you can receive a health check in to report any side effects. It was easy to sign up, and within 24 hours I received a message asking me to check the boxes for any symptoms.
If you reported any serious symptoms, someone from the CDC would contact us. If we had more questions, we could contact vsafe.cdc.gov.
This week some of my friends are experiencing frustrations getting appointments at Walgreens, Giant and Beebe among others places. They are relying on word of mouth from neighbors. There doesn’t seem to a unified plan like the one we were fortunate to experience. Perhaps another large event could be held soon to address the dire need.
If you wish to learn more about the Village Foundation visit www.villagevolunteer.org or call 302-703-2568. The Village Foundation is a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to helping older adults live independent, active and healthy lives. They provide transportation, social and educational programs. I wish to thank my husband and all of the volunteers for their service as well.
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