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Friday Slide Show: Two Shots Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

26 March 2021

It all started when our doctor emailed us last month to suggest a video chat since we hadn't been in to see her for over 12 months. We'd been minimizing exposure to the healthcare system during the pandemic.

Well, we told her, we'd love to see her but we really don't have anything on our list at the moment to discuss. After losing 40 lbs. we've been rejuvenated and are working assiduously on our six-pack.

The only thing bothering us, we admitted, was that we had put off our blood tests. But since we're the caretaker for the two senior women, it's been the prudent thing to do. Our numbers were all normal during the last visit anyway.

She told us the vaccine supply was going to jump up shortly and she'd keep us in mind.


Not a week passed before Kaiser called to set up a vaccination appointment for us. We thought they were scheduling a month out but no. Tomorrow or the next day. Which?

We went for the next day after consulting our schedule. That would get us to the weekend in case we had an adverse reaction.

Kaiser had used the parking lot by Negoesco Stadium at the University of San Francisco for in-car flu shots during the pandemic. But for the vaccine, they were using the Koret gym on the corner. Which they renamed the Vaccine Immunity Clinic.

The stadium is named for our high school Spanish teacher, Steve Negoesco. Not for teaching us Spanish, claro. He was a star soccer player and coach for USF (long ago). In fact, the stadium is on the location of our high school track and football field where we ran hurdles and played halfback and returned kicks. We had parked where the stinky old fieldhouse had been. Before that, the place was a cemetery.

Perfect location for a Vaccine Immunity Clinic.


On the appointed day, we pulled into the garage and parked behind a big white SUV that, we did not notice, was inhabited by a ferocious grizzly bear. Or maybe it was a German Shepherd. The thing tried to blast through the barely opened back window to maul us as we shimmied between it and the car parked next to it.

Utah plates, we noticed. Pretend it's a city, Utahn.

We joined a long line running down the street to the gym. But we weren't in line very long before we were moved ahead of everyone to the waiting area. We went to the sign-in area and got a reminder card for our second dose and an attractive cloth mask. We also got a green dot because we'd been "naughty" and not seen our primary in over a year. We can't go home until we consult with a doctor there.

Then we were led to a vaccine waiting area where about 20 people were patiently sitting six feet apart. A concierge shortly led us to Vaccination Table Number 1 where Fred gave us the shot. We didn't feel a thing.

Another concierge led us to the Scheduling station where another charming person set us up for a second shot a month later. Notice how everyone seems charming when you've been in lockdown for a year?

Then we were led to the Observation area to watch for any reaction (there are more tables along another wall to treat anyone who has a problem) and in the meantime we consulted with Dr. Serrano about our blood sugar, blood pressure, annual fasting tests and when to do them (two weeks after the second shot).

He was a charming fellow who told us he usually has no symptoms but had a sore arm from this vaccine. We should all get "Survive 2020" T-shirts, he said. Then he told us we were free to go.

Apart from a little soreness the next day, we didn't have any side effect from the Pfizer vaccine.


Yesterday we had our second shot. Same drill but a lot less people in the place. Which makes very little sense to us. All the people who got the first shot when we did would certainly have returned on the same day we did. You would think.

It went remarkably quickly. In one door where the bouncer put a red wrist strap on us to indicate we were there for our second shot, register at the sign-in station, get an "I Got My Covid-19 Vaccine" button (not a T-shirt) and wait two or three seconds for the concierge to lead us to Vaccination Table Number 5 for our second shot by a friendly woman who forgot to introduce herself.

We had another 15 minute wait in chairs spaced six feet apart to see if we developed a reaction to the shot. Nope.

And so off we go, back to the garage by the field.


Two weeks from now, we will enjoy maximum protection from the coronavirus. That doesn't mean we can't still spread it. Just that if we do get it, it won't likely kill us.

It was a pretty painless experience spiced with friendly social interaction, sort of a party as medical experiences go. And it cost us nothing.

Long ago we learned to appreciate free offers. We also learned to evaluate them. What, we would ask, is the other guy getting that makes it free?

In this case, you're getting what we're getting: freedom from a deadly disease. We felt it was our civic duty to get vaccinated, something we owe to you. And we hope you feel the same way toward us.

Everything else, frankly, is nonsense.

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