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January 29, 2023

Worthy to Print Column | Take a Shot

By George Worthy, Gonzales Columnist

Have you got your vaccine yet? I know there are age brackets that cause some to get it early and some to be punctured at a later date. Fortunately, I am old so I got the call to report to Mee Memorial Hospital down in King City last month. I had my personal nurse get the old truck out to drive me down. I’ll say this, for all the noise that was being made of problems here or there getting the vaccine, I was very pleasantly, well, I won’t say surprised.

Mee Memorial has a pretty good reputation for taking good care of their patients. My driver carried me right up to the door under the red or orange canopy, where I was met by a very pleasant young lady carrying a clipboard on which they had the names of who was getting the vaccine and the time they were expected. She asked my name, looked at her clipboard and said I was right on time. She pointed down the hall and told me to follow the crowd. Of course, there was no crowd. That was just her way of assuring me that I was in the right place.

I walked down the hall following the folks ahead of me. They directed me to another desk where there were three or four nice ladies that checked my name again. Now you might have thought that I was getting a little tense by all the name checking, but to be honest I was quite impressed with the effort being made by these ladies to make sure I was in the right place at the right time. I mean, after all, this darn flu has reportedly killed 500,000 citizens of the United States.

I wasn’t crazy about getting a vaccine that had been made and approved in a few short months. I wanted to be sure that there was no chance that I got the wrong stuff. They tested and approved this vaccine in about three months or so and I remember when Jonas Salk, the fellow that discovered the formula for the polio vaccine, was offering it to all the kids where I went to school. He had a heck of a time getting permission from the government to administer the polio vaccine because no one knew what would happen when you gave a shot of the same virus that caused polio.

They were supposed to be dead virus, but I didn’t know how they tested that. It literally took Dr. Salk years to get permission to release the antiviral drug he had discovered. This was during a period of time when polio was considered the worst malady in the entire world. My parents had thought that my younger brother had contracted the disease. It was discovered that he wasn’t staying with his age group in coordination and body movements. Thank God he was just slow.

Back then you could tell who had got their shot because it made a little ring of scar tissue on your arm that you could show off. The Covid-19 vaccine is different. It consists of two shots. I got the first one and you wouldn’t even think you had got a shot. It was painless and effective. Then I waited for 28 days and returned to King City for the second shot, which was supposed to mean that I was resistant to the Covid virus. The second shot was a little different.

First, it was a little harder to sit there when they stuck the needle in because it was a different formula I suppose. It did hurt, but hey, I was a Green Beret. This didn’t bother me as much as it may have bothered someone else. The after effects were startling. My arm hurt like the dickens for a day or two and the night after I got the shot I felt like I had the flu. It was the same symptoms but very mild.

My personal nurse was as loving as she could be as she assured me that she had heard that the second day was the worst of the deal. I slept like a rock, and after that there was just a little soreness. So, get your vaccines because it also gave me a little confidence in our government. This was a new feeling for me; trusting my government. I won’t say I won’t get the virus, but I’m pretty sure it will be a lot milder if I do.

I can’t say enough about the staff at Mee Memorial. They were polite and very kind to an old man. So far I am assured by the actions of the folks administering the shots and the feeling of confidence I now have. Get your vaccine as soon as you can. It might get rid of this unwanted guest in our country.

God Bless.


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