By: Keith Kappes
Carter County Times
After more than 300 days of self-quarantine, my wife and I emerged from our home exile last week to learn that being in our 70’s had put us on the priority list for a vaccination against COVID-19.
Three of our adult children called the night before to insist that we report to our local hospital early the next morning for the first dose of the Moderna vaccine which hopefully would protect us from the coronavirus.
We were encouraged to report at 7 a.m. but 10 months of sleeping late every morning made that impossible so we got there about 9:30 a.m. to stand in line behind about 100 other senior citizens, healthcare workers and other eligible recipients.
Actually, standing in line was a generally pleasant experience as we chatted with old friends and former neighbors as we trudged along toward the actual vaccination point. To my mild surprise, I didn’t hear anyone question their decision to accept the vaccine.
It seemed that everyone around us either knew someone who had died or been terribly sickened by the virus. One man in line looked up from his cell phone to tell us that almost 4,000 Americans had died from the virus just a day earlier.
To pass the time, I told my wife about receiving four vaccinations all at one time during my stint in the Army. Four medics holding high pressure jet injectors put two vaccines into each arm in about 10 seconds. The high pressure streams cut through my skin without a needle.
Jet injectors almost always caused bleeding at the injection site so they were later abandoned with the discovery of HIV and other dangerous blood-borne illnesses.
I recall that one jokester in our company asked a medic to carve his initials with the high pressure air stream. Instead, the grinning GI cut an “X into his arm that bled profusely and he passed out. Both soldiers were disciplined, we were told.
As for our adventure, we finished the vaccination process about 90 minutes after arriving at the hospital, including the 15-minute observation period to make sure neither of us had an immediate allergic reaction to the vaccine.
It’s been several days since we received the vaccine and neither of us have had any after-effects. We are going back next month for the second dose to make sure the vaccine works.
Whether you’re an old-timer like me or not, I urge you to get the vaccine as soon as possible because COVID-19 can kill you.
Keith Kappes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org