Oh Happy Day! COVID-19 Vaccine First Dose

Yesterday I received my first COVID vaccine shot. I was amazed at how quickly it all came to pass after months and months of waiting. In Florida last week there was talk of possibly expanding eligibility to ages 55+, just days after it was lowered to 60. But on Friday, the state announced eligibility is now 50+ starting on Monday.

To seize the opportunity, I quickly registered on county vaccination sites and set up online accounts at pharmacies and grocery stores. Florida has a patchwork of vaccination paths, which makes it confusing and inefficient. The county-administered sites run on a first-come-first-served basis, while the retail outlets require appointments scheduled directly on their sites. With no centralization, there’s huge potential for overlap, especially for motivated vaccine seekers like me.

So at dawn Monday I had two computers and my phone ready to get in the Publix and CVS appointment queues which opened at 7 AM. I waited as patiently as I could as I watched the availability decrease steadily: 92%… 76%… 48% then to 30% quite rapidly. Suddenly, about 45 minutes after the hour my screen moved from “On Hold” to “Register Now” and I speedily seized the first available slot for Wednesday afternoon at a local Publix supermarket.

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