I really thought they were going to botch this. I really did. We have been living through four years of absolute insanity. The former President hired the most incompetent people. They were also the most destructive. A case in point that typifies all the nonsense was when Desantis in Florida fired the head of coronavirus tracking and hired a youtube podcaster from Ohio to do the job. It is literally the death of expertise.
So I live in a red state, a really red state : Oklahoma. We have an incompetent governor that would rival Desantis. This is why I thought they were going to botch vaccine distribution. I was wrong about that and I am so glad I was. I began to be fearful when they said they were going to make a vaccine portal that everyone in the state was going to be required to use. I mean, our state unemployment system is so botched, so terrible, so behind in technology. It was still using the cobol language from the seventies. I mean, c’mon.
But that is a topic for another article. Let’s just say that my faith in Oklahoma, or any red state for that matter, was quite low. And that gets me to my next point, I am really unsure who set this up, it must have been Federal. Or it was most likely a joint effort because it is a thing of beauty. I have rarely been this impressed with a state and federal effort as this vaccine distribution has become.
I will tell you my experience so people can be rest assured that help is on the way. The first thing you do to get vaccinated in Oklahoma is to go to vaccinate.oklahoma.gov . You have to be a resident to qualify. You go through a questionnaire to establish eligibility and the site will email you a link when you become eligible. The link takes you to the booking an appointment page. There is a map that gives you a radius of how far you want to search for an appointment. Like 25 or 50 miles. I was absolutely flabbergasted that there were over 90 state vaccination sites within 50 miles. There were several that had available appointments. I was quite taken aback. I chose the one in Coweta, about 20 miles away. There seemed to be a lot more appointments available in the rural areas. I didn’t mind because all you have to be is a resident and you can go anywhere in Oklahoma.
So I set it for that afternoon so it would give me time to get ready and I was still stunned that I was going to get vaccinated in a few hours. I had waited so long for this day and then it seemed to be thrust upon me all at once. I then got an email that said not to show up too early. Fifteen minutes before is the limit. I guess people are pretty anxious. I drove out to Coweta. It’s a nice drive, all highway. I pulled into the First Assembly of God church. They had signs and cones out to direct you. The county sheriff was waving you the right way. I pulled up to a National Guardsman. He told me to follow that car in front of me and to go right inside.
The sanctuary had several tables set up for intake. The people all had Ipads. They asked me for the QR code that was sent in the confirmation email. I showed it to them and it immediately populated the Ipad with all my information. It was impressive. They filled out a CDC Covid-19 Vaccination Record Card and told me to go into the next room. It was a room with about ten tables with two nurses at each table. Each nurse had a pile of needles ready to go. The only thing disconcerting about all this is how empty it was at the time. There were only about four or five people getting vaccinated at the time. I thought it would be busier with long lines.
The nurses were absolutely fabulous. You really forget how good nurses are at their job. It was so refreshing to see how competent everyone was. A National Guardsman came through asking the nurses if they needed anything. He was mainly seeing if they needed any water. Nobody did. The nurse asked me several questions like if I had ever had a bad reaction to a vaccine. Then she jabbed me and said my arm is going to hurt for the next three to five days. This is a very accurate description. It hurts, my arm is so tender right now.
I then took my card into another room where you have to wait for fifteen minutes. They put a little post-it note on it to let them know when you can leave. You wait fifteen minutes and then they tell you when to come out for the second dose. They said you can go anywhere in the state and to use the same portal. They said they would email a link. I then left.
The time spent including waiting fifteen minutes to make sure there weren’t any serious reactions was about twenty minutes. It was so well done. So efficient. It was incredible. They are going to be able to process so many people and it will be sooner, rather than later that everyone will be able to be vaccinated. It’s happening and it is going so good in Oklahoma. You never would have thought it but this is what real leadership under Joe Biden looks like.