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  • You don't need to wait for months for the vaccine
    You don't need to wait for months for the vaccine

We were shot at dawn

The editor talks with you

Received your initial covid vaccination yet? Many of us haven’t as we are not included in Phase 1a.
If you are a 1st responder, health care giver or nursing home resident, you’ve ralready received one.
Others who are eligible have not been vaccinated because they used the DHEC-CDC VAMS online appointment process.
We made that mistake and the earliest we could get was late March. 
My wife and I are at the age of vulnerability and did not want to wait that long.
When we heard from friends that they had been vaccinated in Columbia without an appointment, we decided to try it.

At 1st light on a pewter gray morning last week, we headed for 22 National Guard Road in Columbia. Due to commuter traffic, the trip took 65 minutes, 
US 1 traffic in Lexington and West Columbia was heavy but once we crossed the Gervais Street bridge it was only half as congested on Huger Street.
We pulled into the right lane on Bluff Road in front of Carolina stadium. About a dozen cars were ahead of us on Bluff Road 10 minutes before the site was to open.
The line of cars was far longer on National Guard Road but started moving at 8 am. 
Our 1st stop was to show our drivers’ licenses and insurance cards to prove our age and insurance coverage. 
A masked young woman gave us 2 sheets to fill out, told us to take the right fork since we had no appointment and waved us on.
We were impressed by all the volunteers along the route who were there if we had problems. Columbia police and National Guard soldiers controlled traffic.

We followed other cars to a tented area where a registered nurse named Lindsey greeted us cheerfully and checked our paper work – medical history on 1 sheet, personal contact information on the other,
She invited us to get out of the car, remove our jackets, push up our sleeves and asked if we preferred the left or right arm.
She swabbed the injection area with alcohol, inserted the needle painlessly, put a small band-aid over the injection site.
She gave us a sheet marked 9:02 and asked us to put it visibly on the dashboard. 
We were asked to wait 20 minutes to ensure no reactions to the Pfizer vaccine.
Lindsey gave us a sheet listing symptoms and what to do if severe. The mild symptoms include arm soreness, headaches, chills, nausea, swollen lymph nodes and generally not feeling well, Our only symptom has been soreness at the injection site.
At 9:22 we headed back to Lexington.

From 7:50 to 9:22, the process took only 92 minutes. Others including Chronicle reader Kirk Wood did it in less time. 
We suspect that depends on the time and day you go and how many others show up.
In 3 weeks, we go back for the booster.
Another suggestion: Check this Lexington Medical Center link for information on how people age 70 and up can sign up for covid vaccinations at the hospital:
.Next: A real war hero.

A gift suggestion
Do you know someone who is trying to find their way in life or looking for a new mission? Give them copy of Jerry Bellune’s inspiring book, “Your Life’s Great Purpose.” 
The book will show them how to get far mote out of their lives. A personally autographed copy is only $20. You can email him at

Editor Jerry Bellune invites your comments and questions.

Email him at



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