One Shot Down

Day 2

On Saturday Kathy and I got our first COVID vaccine shot. No problem with the shot, but getting the appointment is another story.

Several weeks ago a friend called and told me she and her husband signed up for their first shot through a hospital that is an hour’s drive north of us, She gave me the number to call. I was hesitant because you never know what the weather will be like in mid February and I didn’t want to be stuck with an appointment I couldn’t keep. I also didn’t feel like driving an hour to get a shot. I didn’t call.

Instead, I saw that they were were going to give shots at the grocery store pharmacy that is two miles away from our house. This would be ideal. I called and got us on the waiting list. Then I waited…and waited…and waited. Never got a call back about scheduling a time.

Last Tuesday our local paper ran a story about vaccinations being given at the mall 20 minutes away. They listed a number to call. I could do this. We drive into Pottsville often so it would not be a problem to get there. Kathy had a hair appointment at Boscov’s that day. So, while she went in for her haircut I stood out across from the service desk, phone held to ear, on hold. I kept being told to hang on because my call was very important to them. I did. I held on and held on and held on. 20 minutes later, which really wasn’t long compared to what I heard from others, I got an actual person.

I told her that I would like to make an appointment for shots. “I’m sorry,” she said. “All slots at that location were filled by Sunday.” How? The article was just in today’s paper. How did all these people know shots were going to be given and I didn’t hear a thing about them?

She then told me that she did have openings in Center county and Fayette county if I didn’t mind a drive. I did something I never thought I would do. I went into the hair salon to ask Kathy if she wanted to travel for a shot. She was in the middle of getting her hair combed out. She said fine. Glad her stylist was understanding about me barging in.

I told the lady I would take the Center county slot and she took all of the information. So, that is how Kathy and I wound up not taking a 2 min ute ride to our grocery store, or a 20 minute ride to the mall for shots, or even a 1 hour drive north on a February day to get our first shot of the vaccine. No, instead I took a two hour drive out west in February so we could get our first shot. What’s more, I get to do it again in 3 weeks for the second shot. Hooray!

The kicker…the day after I made the appointment our local pharmacy, the one two minutes away, called and said they have an appointment for us. Did we still want it. AAGH!!!


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33 responses to “One Shot Down

  1. Ugh, so frustrating. I feel your pain as I’ve been trying to find appointments for my mother in law. Surprisingly, I got my parents appointments at Walgreens with hardly any effort. I could not believe it.

    But I’m glad you’re getting your shots! Do you think you could get the second shot at the local pharmacy?

    • Unfortunately, no. I have a card with a date and time for the second dose that was given to us. We were told that we must get the second dose at the same place because we must get a second dose of the same vaccine we received. I don’t know which vaccine our local is given. We were also assured that a second dose is now reserved for us. Besides, I feel that after this a trip to The Creamery at Penn State, five miles away form where we will be, is a warranted reward.

  2. Brian Rozinsky

    Your slice nicely captures our present realities, how things that should be easier are not, and the lengths to which we’ll go to accomplish what we must. Keep doing the best you can!

  3. Teachers were prioritized in Oregon, but they rolled it out by grade level. When my turn finally came I logged on, got an appointment then was told an error had occurred.Lost the appointment. I repeated the process from the beginning. Same result. Well, as they say, the third time’s the charm. I looked at every field carefully and realized that I had assumed the birthdate field did not automatically add the backslash between day, month, and year. I redid my birthdate and was offered three options I would never have selected. I chose the best of the lot. Making the second appointment was a lot smoother.

    • We lucked out in that we did not have to make a second appointment. On the card that we were give the date and time for our second show was already there.

  4. Terje

    Finding your own vaccination spot and time sounds complicated. Two hour drive? I am glad you got your first shot and will get the second one in three weeks.

  5. Oh, so familiar. How I spent ALL of February. The worst was the high from the possibility only to plummet when ALL the appointments were filled. And we will repeat the week of St. Paddy’s!
    Been there, done that!

  6. You were destined to drive for two hours 🙂 I am glad you both got the vaccination.

  7. Trina

    I agree! This process is so frustrating. I feel so fortunate that I was able to secure an appointment at a local pharmacy on the first day that vaccines were available for teachers. I don’t think I could have done this without a tip from a colleague.

  8. jumpofffindwings

    Oh, I can’t wait to write about this on Thursday when I get my first shot! Congratulations to you and Kathy.
    By the way, I can’t find where Two Teachers’ SOL post is to add mine to the list. How did you locate it? Thanks for any insight.

    • Looking forward to reading about your experience getting the shot. I will say that others I know have had a worse time than I did so I really can’t complain too loudly.

  9. Ugh! I feel your pain. It’s been such a crapshoot getting shots for my family who are eligible while I myself have to wait. Part 1 down, 2 hours and halfway there. It’s annoying, but better than zilch.

    • It really is a toss of the dice as to whether you get lucky or not. I feel lucky that my appointment was for three days after I called and not months away. Gotta be thankful for little things.

  10. Oh, Bob! Getting an appointment has been a nightmare for Ralph and me as well. We get our first shot this weekend – luckily, only ten minutes away. We had to try several times at exactly one minute after midnight. I groaned and moaned through your story – I felt your pain! Yes, it is amazing how some people seem to have “inside” information. I also know people who are barely 60 with no medical conditions to qualify them – but they somehow got their shots. Go figure!

    • Lynne, I sometimes do have to wonder about the politics involved in getting appointments. I feel lucky that I was able to make an appointment through a phone call to an actual person and not through my computer. One minute after midnight I am sound asleep. I would never get an appointment if I had to rely on doing things at that time.

  11. Bob, this is the sad saga of so many of us-the endless phone calls, the long waits, the decisions. I have both shots now and feel blessed to have received them at a local hospital but my husband was not able to get his first dose even though he had an appointment so he and my son are in line for the shot in VA. But all of these stories are for another slice.

    • Bob, sorry that I did not finish my thought about your post. I am glad that you and Kathy will be among those with protection but so sorry that you have to travel so far. Ice cream will take care of that though.

      • Forget to say that Kathy and I made a day of it. There is a sewing shop Kathy likes to visit that is halfway between our house and where we went for the shot. So of course we stopped there on the way. Plus they have restrooms there which made the second hour of travel much more comfortable.

    • Carol, I know that there are so many stories out there of people who had a harder time than I did trying to get a shot. Even though I waited for call backs when I made the call it was a 20 minute wait and the appointment was for three days away. I can’t really complain…too much.

  12. Appointment making and keeping is something I find annoying. I’m glad you were able to get yours so that you can start to plan your New York trips again! What will you do this year with out the quilt show?

    • Now all I need is for Broadway to reopen. As for quilt shows, all around here are on hold. That was always good for several posts for me during this challenge. Maybe I will just revisit shows from the past.

  13. The stories of getting these appointments have been wild. I am so appreciative of how clear and easy the process has been in Michigan, though it did involve waiting on hold on a phone call, which seemed bizarre to me. I never make phone calls anymore! Such relief to be vaccinated!

  14. Lainie Levin

    So glad and grateful that you got your vaccine. In our district, many of us had to scramble for ourselves as well. It has been quite the chase! I lucked out, and so did a close friend of mine. She actually cried when she received her first vaccine, she was so relieved. Hoping you also feel well!

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