COVID-19 vaccination offers hope for a brighter tomorrow

March 29, 2021
Adam Christman, DVM, MBA

dvm360, dvm360 April 2021, Volume 54,

A firsthand look at my vaccination experience, plus find out why solid communication, kindness, and teamwork made all the difference.

As scientists, veterinarians understand, appreciate, and respect the research involved in developing and distributing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine. The fact that vaccines have been formulated and made available to the public at such a rapid pace is nothing short of miraculous. I know many Americans have mixed feelings about receiving the vaccine, so I want to share my personal experience in hopes of allaying some of the fear and uncertainty.

My vaccine journey

I was thrilled when I received my vaccine confirmation email. It contained a QR code that I needed to display several times throughout the vaccination process. Traveling to the vaccination megasite at a local New Jersey college to get my first shot was especially challenging given the snowy and icy conditions that day. Normally only an hour away, this time the drive to campus took 2.5 hours. There must have been more than 100 National Guard troops at the site, all of whom demonstrated the utmost professionalism and kindness. Temperature checks were performed upon arrival. Then, individuals receiving their first vaccine lined up socially distant on the left, and those receiving their second dose lined up on the right. Once we received the green light, we moved to another line to again show proof of appointment time, driver’s license, and QR code.

Once we were officially checked in, we walked in groups of 15 to another building that had about 23 paperwork stations with plexiglass separating patients from the Guardsmen, who collected our email addresses and cross-verified our contact information. Anyone receiving their first dose also scheduled their second appointment.

Once we arrived at the bank of more than 30 nurse triage stations, we were asked to remove our outerwear and/or roll up our long sleeves. The Guardsmen then assigned each person to a station, where a nurse calmly and compassionately walked us through the process, taking time to answer any questions. Following vaccination, the nurse asked us several questions, we again provided our QR code, then we moved to a waiting room to be monitored briefly for potential adverse reactions. We were given a sticker stamped with our vaccination time and told we could leave when our time was called.

The takeaway

I share my COVID-19 vaccination story because teamwork and communication are everything today. From start to finish, the smooth process, excellent communication between the nurses and Guardsmen, and commitment, respect, and empathy shown to patients were admirable and enlightening. I encourage you all to thank your fellow frontline workers and military personnel for navigating through these very choppy waters. Although the vaccine is not 100% effective, along with continued masks and social distancing, it can help provide much-needed healing to a world that has been devastated by this deadly disease.

On behalf of the dvm360® family, we thank all essential workers for your service. We hope you find creative, effective, and efficient ways to streamline your workflow during these turbulent times.

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