4.25% of Illinoisians are fully vaccinated. As a member of the Phase 1b priority category I count myself lucky to be in their ranks.
Sheer luck struck when I happened to be checking my email while the message from the McHenry County Health Department alerted me to an unexpected shipment of the Pfizer vaccine from the federal government.
Luck held as I managed to secure an appointment at a nearby Jewel Osco pharmacy.
Good fortune prevailed when my second dose appointment was scheduled prior to the administration of my first dose.
I left with a shot in arm and an appointment card in hand.
I’m luckier than most.
While masked and socially distanced from others of the favored 4.25% Illinoisans in the pharmacy area also awaiting their second dose, I chatted with a few unfavored Phase 1b priority category members. One optimistic fellow, with completed information document in hand, asked where to sign up for his vaccination as if expecting a clipboard upon which to sign his name.
His face fell as I explained the need for an online appointment. He looked to the waiting fortuitous vaccinees for corroboration. Nods confirmed the worst for the unfortunate Phase 1b priority category candidate. It was a like telling him about Santa or the Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy.
His optimism drained.
A few minutes later a ninety-year-old fellow scootered to the “Pick Up” counter of the pharmacy. Spying the unusually large group waiting for the pharmacist, he asked if we were getting flu shots. In his mind the reason for the gathering HAD to be for something else rather than the Covid 19 vaccine. After all, he was ninety and we were spritely sixty-five plus year olds.
The unfairness of it all crossed his face as I corrected his assumption.
“Do you have a computer?” asked one of my cohorts.
Hints followed his slight nod.
“Enroll with your health department,” said one.
“Check on the Osco website,” said another.
“I heard someone had the best luck with Meijer grocery store,” commented another.
“Check early for appointments and keep checking.” I contributed the hint I gleaned at my last Bunco group Zoom meeting. “Appointments pop up when you least expect it.”
I was lucky.