Taking a shot in the arm to stop COVID

By Ferrell Foster

Neighbors figure large in human interaction. They give us friendship, help, and encouragement as we face the varied opportunities and challenges of life. And because we care about both ourselves and our neighbors, we get vaccinations.

Tuesday afternoon, I rolled up my sleeve and took a literal shot in the arm. I was one of 424 people vaccinated on the first day of the “first large-scale public COVID-19 vaccination clinic in McLennan County,” as reported by the Waco Tribune-Herald.

Our Waco-McLennan County Public Health District and all others involved in this clinic deserve applause for this beginning. The process was smooth and efficient — in and out pretty quickly. Volunteers from McLennan Community College’s nursing program and Waco’s Family Health Center, plus the Waco Fire Department, ran the clinic. 

I arrived 15 minutes early for my Tuesday afternoon appointment, went through the various steps, and received my shot promptly and on time. After the shot, I waited the required 15 minutes before leaving. Eighteen hours later, I have had no reaction to the shot other than a sore arm reminiscent of the shingles vaccine I received a couple of years ago.

The clinic will give 1,500 vaccinations by appointment this week (already booked up), but this is just the beginning. My age got me into this group, and it was good to see other Wacoans taking advantage of the opportunity.

I am concerned that people with little or no Internet access are at a big disadvantage when appointments are made online, but I hope our health district is working for ways to connect with this important part of our community — maybe with some appointments being made through community organizations, rather than online.

Large-scale vaccination is not an easy job, but we have started, and that is good for the health, education, jobs, business, entertainment, and government. Let’s keep #WacoSafe.

Ferrell Foster is acting executive director of Act Locally Waco. He also is senior content specialist for care and communication with Prosper Waco.

The Act Locally Waco blog publishes posts with a connection to these aspirations for Waco. If you are interested in writing for the Act Locally Waco Blog, please email Ferrell Foster at [email protected].

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  1. Kristi SoRelle on January 15, 2021 at 8:05 am

    Ferrell, this was my concern also. When I got my vaccination on Tuesday morning, I spoke with the supervisor of the clinic about the concerns related to ‘white privilege’ – that low income and older people have no access to computers, internet and the very quick technology that involved in signing up. She was kind and seemed to acknowledge this issue. I am hopeful that this will be considered as the city obtains further vaccines.
    Thank you for also noticing this and for your words on this.
    Kristi SoRelle

    • Ferrell Foster on February 13, 2021 at 6:22 pm

      Kristi, I’m just not seeing this for some reason. Since our concerns of mid-January, I think the Public Health District has done an excellent job of trying to bring fairness and equity to the process. We must always speak up. Thanks for sharing.

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