Garden Diary - March 2021

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Vaccination for Covid-19
Thursday, 11 March 2021

We registered on-line with the New Jersey Department of Health on January 10, 2021. And a week and a half later were notified "You are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine. However, due to supply limitations, vaccination appointments may be difficult to get . . . " No kidding. Classified 1-B, in the next tranche after health care workers and first responders.

The next step we took was to register with the Hunterdon County Health Department. That would guarantee a place on the waiting list for a Hunterdon County Health Department vaccination appointment, in the order people have signed up. The waiting list is limited to 5,000 individuals, based on the anticipated vaccine supply from the state.

Every time I would check back, there would be a notice that no appointments were available. An e-mail on March 5 mentioned that if I would prefer to not wait for an appointment through the Vaccine Scheduling System, there was additional information on other ways to get vaccinated.

We had previously also registered with our local pharmacy. He has the special freezer for Moderna vaccine (not extreme sub-zero Pfizer vaccine) with alarm system should the temperature rise. But had yet to receive any covid-19 vaccine.

A friend and her husband had been vaccinated. "Where?" I asked. "How?" "St Luke's." she told me. "Out of state is OK with them." They traveled about an hour from New Jersey to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and received the Pfizer vaccine.

That's all we needed to hear. I registered on-line on Thursday, 4 March, and Paul did so on Friday, 5 March. He got a phone call on Tuesday, 9 March. St Luke's had received 9,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, would we like to make an appointment for Thursday, 11 March. No sooner said than done. Offered a couple of localities, and chose Phillipsburg, about 20 miles away in New Jersey.

Parking was easy, vaccine clinic entrance well marked, and
various twists and turns down the hallways clearly delineated.

Two check-in stations in a broad hallway. All they wanted were our names, no photo I.D. required. Not a problem that we were early. Take a seat (properly spaced apart) and a volunteer would indicate when to enter the actual vaccine clinic administration room. It was a wait of only a few minutes.

Two tables on opposite sides of the room set up for vaccine administration.
Fresh plastic gloves used for each recipient. Wipe down arm, administer jab,
cover with a bandaid. Next! Once inoculated, go sit for 15 minutes, for safety.


Small refrigerator at the front of the room, with additional vials of vaccine.

If this is your first jab, you are given a Covid-19 Vaccine / St Luke's sticker.
When we come back for our second, in early April, we'll each get a button.

It is a disheveled system in New Jersey, to say the least. Incoherent, disorganized, catch as catch can. We got the vaccine with help from our friends. Otherwise I imagine we'd still be checking back, again and again, for non-existent appointments in New Jersey.

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