Wednesday, March 10, 2021

The Long Wait

I got my first vaccine shot! 

And it's a story. We did testing last week (it was the same testing we did in September), and surprisingly, things went pretty smoothly. So, I'm going to skip a subbing story today and tell you the saga of my first COVID-19 vaccine shot.

I think it was late January when Long Beach launched a vaccine list. I signed up just as soon as I got notification. It wasn't my tier yet, but we were informed that we'd get notification when it was our turn. 

The first week I got an email saying, "Not yet". Same thing the second week. Then crickets for the next couple weeks after that, which was fine as I didn't need emails telling me it wasn't my turn. 

Then word was out that educators were the next to go. 

I do not work for the school district in Long Beach. And the initial vaccination efforts were for the employees of the school district and the university. When I signed up on the website, I clearly marked that while I lived in Long Beach, I did not work in Long Beach. 

It was Friday night when I saw the email. "IMPORTANT: Make an appointment for your first COVID-19 vaccine dose." I was shaking as I filled out the form and made the appointment for Tuesday. 

Then Sunday I got an email: "IMPORTANT: If you are not eligible to receive vaccine at this time, please cancel your appointment." 

Uh... 

So, I had a bit of a freak out. While I do not work in Long Beach, we were told that we could still get vaccinated if we were a city resident. And educators are up. But this email came two hours after another "make an appointment" email, so I chose to believe it was a follow up to that email, and I ignored the cancel request.

Then later that day I got two more "make your appointment" emails with appointments pretty much all week. I figured there was some mix up someplace, but it didn't impact me. 

Tuesday. The convention center is clear across town for me, so I set out early. Turns out, not quite enough if I wanted to be "on time". Sigh. 

I know roughly how to get to the convention center. As I pulled onto the street, I saw a line of cars going in the opposite direction. A line that long, it had to be the place. So, I followed it back all the way around the block (in downtown Long Beach, where the touristy stuff is, so long blocks), made a U-turn, and got in line behind the last car. This was about an hour before my scheduled appointment. 

I thought I was way early. By the time I snaked around to where they were checking IDs, I was ten minutes out from my appointment. 

We had been told to bring proof of appointment, proof of residency, and proof of employment. I was paranoid. I brought a couple other papers besides my driver's license and employee ID. But the guy who checked me in found those to be sufficient, and in dry erase marker her wrote on my windshield that I was good to go. (He told me he was writing what vaccine I was getting and that it was my first shot.) 

Alas, the car in front of me, the car that I'd been following for nearly an hour, was turned away and had to pull out of the line. Several cars were turned away at that point just as I was getting checked in.

Then another twenty minutes in line through the convention center parking lot. 

My appointment was for 3:56 PM. I got into line at nearly 3 PM. I got my shot at around 4:15 PM. 

We were directed to an observation spot for fifteen minutes so they could check for adverse reactions. During this time, I made my second shot appointment on my phone. 

And then I headed home. 

I had no immediate reactions. The next day my arm was sore. Really sore. The day after that, though, it was hardly sore at all. But that's a small price to pay. 

A local newspaper did a video story on the mass vaccination site when it opened. In case you'd like a visual of where this was... 

Have you gotten vaccinated yet? I hope if not you're up soon.

25 comments:

  1. Glad you were able to get it! Still waiting here.

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  2. Congrats. I am so glad you got your first shot! I'm due for my second dose on the 20th. Also at a convention center.

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    1. Convention centers seem to be the best places to get lots of people in and out of.

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  3. I hope it all works out. :) Stay healthy!

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  4. I am glad you got vaccinated since you do work in the classroom when they open things up. It sounds like a bit of a hassle but at least you got your first shot. I have not received any news about getting my shot. I am unsure how it will happen to be honest.

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    1. There's no place to sign up? Hopefully you'll get info soon, as I'm sure it should be about your turn already.

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  5. I got my second shot Saturday. Here, seniors (which I am) have lots of choices now - state site, county site,and pharmacies. Getting the appointment was a process and the NY eligibility list is something out of a bureaucratic nightmare. I got my appt at a state site. The actual location was a huge tent. It was run very smoothly and, both times, I was in and out, including the 15 minute wait after, in just under a half hour.

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    1. Seems like the vaccination sites are run well, but getting the appointment is a mess.

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  6. Yay! Glad you got vaccinated! I'm still trying...

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  7. That's great! Worrisome mix-up with the emails, glad it didn't affect you. I'm not eligible yet, not age or work or pre-existing conditions apply. I'll wait my turn, and stay indoors like I've been mostly doing.

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  8. Wow. That's quite a story! I've had friends here obtain shots just by saying that they were either in food service or working as carers. -no proof needed!

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    1. Interesting. They were definitely checking this time. Maybe if I said I was in food service they wouldn't have checked.

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  9. Australia has only just (as in last few weeks) started its vaccination program. Educators aren't a special tier here. Ours are based on front-line workers (medical, hotel quarantine, aged care), aged care residents, age (senior first), indigenous and high-risk medical. As I am none of those I am in the general everyone else tier. I'm not expecting to get my first shot until at least July.

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  10. Thank you for sharing your vaccine experience.

    New Post - https://www.exclusivebeautydiary.com/2021/03/most-worn-winter-fragrances-20202021.html

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    Replies
    1. I want to document this whole pandemic experience. Can't then not do the vaccination.

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  11. That's a bit of a crazy way to do it. My parents got theirs in a building and said they were in and out in twenty minutes with no long wait.

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  12. Hi Liz - Coming here after a long time ... I have been reading some of the posts but couldn't comment ... Glad to know you finally managed to get the vaccine ...

    Here in India, the rollout is in phases, and it's going on pretty smoothly. In the first phase, that opened in Jan was for the healthcare workers. The 2nd one that rolled out on March 1, is for those over 60 and those over 45 but with comorbidities. So, I am waiting for my turn.

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  13. thNOT YET....scheduled for the 18th. I went back and forth but the death of yet another classmate due to COVID helped me to make up my mind. Healthy, yet she did not make it. Hubs had it, made it fine. Old gent, father of my daughters boss with all sorts of illnesses came through fine after a short stay in the hospital. In not being able to understand it and how it hits, the damage it does, I finally decided to take the shot. It just so happened the timing was of my group so I made the apt.. Not at all looking forward to any long term affects but I figured the years I have left maybe I will not get to long term affects....but the affects of what it can do to my body if I got COVID might just kill me. With the pain I fight daily and the way I have felt the last six months, I don't think my body has enough push to fight COVID.

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    1. Yeah. I figure I'm pretty healthy and pretty lucky. But, do I want to roll the dice and take my chances? Hell, no. I said as soon as I could I'd get my shot, and I did.

      Glad you have an appointment. I doubt you'll have a major reaction to it.

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  14. I'm glad you got your first one and that the side effects weren't too bad. Hopefully the second one won't be either.

    They're hardcore about checking stuff there! It hasn't been like that in NC. I keep hearing that a lot of people are coming here from SC to get vaccinated since it's a much smoother process here.

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    1. At this point they are. I bet as more and more of us get it done, there'll be less and less oversight.

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  15. Hurrah! Next week, we'll get our second dose. I'm thankful that our primary doctor is a provider so we were able to get our shots in a small setting. I wasn't looking forward to doing the process you went through.

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