Letter, Opinion

The Vermont vaccine experience 

Dear Editor,

On Feb. 6  I got my Covid-19 vaccine. Individual feelings about vaccination vary, and side effects may differ, but the event itself was low-key and smooth, with lots of supportive staff.

I walked into the CVPS-Leahy entrance of the new outpatient building at Rutland Regional feeling ready to meet the unknown.

Inside the entrance a staffer was waiting for arrivals and greeted everyone with a warm welcome and the usual questions about possible symptoms.  As a precaution, the previous week I had signed up for a free Covid-19 test, which was negative. This added to my confidence.

Then we were ushered into a section of corridor where two young men presided over information about the vaccine (Pfizer-Biontech) and a flyer for V-Safe, the after-vaccination health checker from the federal Center for Communicable Diseases (CDC). Sign-up is voluntary and free, and it authorizes the CDC to text-message you on a weekly basis to see how you are doing. (Unfortunately, this helpful service requires a smartphone.)

I was also handed a blank appointment card showing the site of the follow-up vaccine, at the Holiday Inn on Route 7.

My age group is the over-75 crowd, and the room was filled with my generation peers, most people looking to be in good health and attentive. We all have been through a lot over the years and whatever they might have been feeling, those in the room were patient and pleasant. After signing in at a long table, I was shown “my” chair for the vaccination. All the staff were smiling and respectful, and even showed a gentle sense of humor (I had to lift up my fleece top to pull my arm out of the sleeve, which we joked about).

And the vaccination itself? The tech told me, as usual, that I would feel a prick … but I felt nothing! It seemed she barely broke the skin. It took almost literally a nanosecond.

After putting my arm back in my sleeve, I was directed to a chair for the 15-minute observation period. The mood in the room was still friendly and upbeat.

Finally, when the wall clock showed my 15 minutes were up, another staff person at the exit door scheduled me for the second vaccination in three weeks and I was out the door.

Piece of cake!

Julia Purdy, Rutland

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