January 13, 2021 was a momentous day. In addition to President Trump’s second impeachment, I received the first dose of the Pfizer Covid vaccine.
They just turned the Javits Center, a huge convention center in New York City, to a mega center for Covid-19 Vaccines. You might recall that last year, in the height of the pandemic, the Javits Center was turned into a hospital.
A few days ago, it seemed like it would be dreadfully long until it would be Dave’s or my turn to get the vaccine. Then, my employer notified us that court employees were eligible for the vaccine under phase 1B. I scurried to make an appointment, and was moderately happy to schedule one for January 31st at the Javits Center.
Yesterday, I received an email from a colleague saying that Javits Center was accepting walk-ins. She said she had just been vaccinated and the process was very efficient and quick. Just like that, I grabbed Dave and made our way to the Javits Center. It could not have been easier.
Members of the US Army directed us to each stop or station along the way. They were incredibly warm and helpful. The first station was registration.
Next we were guided to the intake area. On the walk there, I thought I was on my way to board a plane. Where was TSA?
I arrived at the intake station.
At first I thought this was where I would receive the vaccine. But it was more of an administrative stop along the way. I was seated with an agent who asked me typical covid questions (are you feeling sick, have you had covid, have you had antibodies, etc). He had me sign a form or two and gave me information sheets for my reading pleasure.
Next, we were guided to the vaccination area, or as they would say in Hamilton, this is the room where it happens.
Since Dave and I were together, we asked if we could go to the same vaccine table. Our area had two women inputting computer information and one nurse. It was very well organized. Oh, I forgot to mention, at each step, our identity was confirmed and re-confirmed.
Our nurse, Melanie, was kind. She allowed us to photograph the shots, which didn’t even hurt!
If I could have hugged Melanie, I would have! We were given our CDC inoculation cards and directed to yet another area, which I’ll call the Rest Area.
The Rest Area was for post-inoculation, just to make sure we were okay. It sure was empty in there (but it was near the close of the first day). We sat about 15 minutes.
We were then ushered to the door. We had a choice – we could register online for the appointment for the return visit for the second shot, or we could wait on line. We chose to wait on line, which again only took a few minutes.
In probably less than an hour, we were done.
I should note that, like everyone else, I was under the impression that the administration of vaccines at the Javits Center were by appointment only. Maybe they allowed walk ins because the vaccine program there just opened and there was availability, so why not? I don’t know how long this will continue for, but I know a few people who went this morning, and received vaccines. The hours presently are 7 to 7, but I’ve heard that they may increase to 24/7.
Afterwards, I was giddy and elated and nervous all rolled in one. I convinced Dave to walk for a little while. We first walked past the Vessel in Hudson Yards.
I love the Gorilla.
We proceeded a few blocks to the new Moynihan Train Station. It’s as beautiful as I’d heard it was.
A final note: this is not intended to be a political post. I believe in the vaccine. It means health, and travel and freedom. For some, it is literally the difference between life and death. I believe in science, and am grateful to all those who have made the vaccine happen. I won’t say the vaccine will fully return us to normal because I forgot what normal was, and the pandemic is still raging on and cruelly stealing so many souls along the way. But the vaccine is certainly a huge step in a positive direction, and I am so grateful.