Kaye’s Corner: Please Get Vaccinated

MEEKER | Please, get a vaccine when your turn comes. It’s going to take most of us to protect all of us. Do your part and get your vaccine.

Kaye Sullivan

This vaccine is free. There is no co-pay, out-of-pocket charge, or insurance bill. You, the patient, will not be charged anything. I think this is about the first free medical care I’ve ever received except for my mandatory polio vaccine in second grade. Let me repeat. COVID vaccines are free.

I understand that the vaccine rollout has been a process of mystery, unfairness, changes plus lack of planning and coordination. Everything I read indicates that the local health departments, counties, and hospitals were never advised in advance that they would be the deliverers of “shots in the arm” as we now say.

They were not staffed, didn’t have cold storage of doses set up, and had to find suitable locations for crowds of people who had to be safely distanced and instill extreme hygiene practices. I am so impressed and grateful that Rio Blanco Health Department has accomplished all this along with COVID testing.

Further, states were misled with inaccurate information of incoming doses. In short, it has been frustrating for every level of government and every provider who got continually surprised and tasked with additional chores they weren’t prepared for. So, don’t be too hard on them if things are changing every day.

The system is what it is, and we can be good citizens by just complying and not grumbling too much. I feel it is improving as every piece of the puzzle understands how to manage this new assignment and more resources are pouring in every day. Be patient!

Many people seem to be frighted of receiving an injection. Let me assure you, it is a tiny poke that doesn’t even hurt and only takes seconds. If needles bother you, follow my Mother’s advice to relax physically, don’t look at the needle, and think about something else. The less you fight, the easier the stick. You will be in and out before you know it.

At the Fairfield Center, it is easy to be distanced and the process is very efficient. If you can’t stand long in line, they offer chairs and even wheelchairs. The paperwork is simple, filling out a one-page questionnaire and you don’t have to provide any documents. At the end, you receive a card with your date of immunization.

Will the vaccine make you sick? From random information gathering, I think the first dose is mild, perhaps just a sore arm. The second dose may cause a day of discomfort for some. Everyone will react differently. To me, it is better to suffer one day of post vaccine discomfort than coping with COVID. Been there, done that and it can be very devastating.

I fully understand that those who have severe medical conditions, allergies, or health complications may be wary. Check with your medical provider and be sure your reluctance is grounded in sound medical advice. Please don’t jump to conclusions without conversations with a person who knows your personal health situation.

Remember that if you don’t get vaccinated, you contribute to prolonging the worldwide spread of this virus, keeping the economy suffering, limiting family/friend in person time, and making travel impossible. This is a worldwide pandemic and demands us all to do our best to prevent its spread.

P.S. Let’s recall our dads and grandpas who were being prepped to fight WWII. Upon induction, they were lined up, inspected for diseases and health problems, even flat footedness. They stood in line to be vaccinated (no protests allowed), had their teeth inspected and repaired (my Dad, a dentist was assigned to this), and were subject to all health precautions deemed necessary.

Why were these harsh measures taken? To protect our military, to keep them healthy as possible, to avoid group contamination, and to guard against potential long term health problems.
They were fighting a war and so are we.

By KAYE SULLIVAN – Special to the Herald Times

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