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Opinion: How my COVID shot went yesterday in Alpharetta

If you might be interested in a few quick observations on getting your vaccine, this short quick read is for you!

The day they announced that people over 65 could sign up online for appointments to get their first COVID vaccine shot, I did. It took about 3 minutes to fill out the short form and I got my appointment for three days later.

The website to sign up is: https://fultoncountyboh.jotform.com/210075657162049. This pulls up a one-page, quick overview guide about who is currently eligible and provides a link to obtain your appointment, if any are available. Of note: on this page is also a field to give your email address to receive updates about vaccine availability.

I mentioned to a friend that I had my appointment, and they asked me if I wasn’t worried about getting it. They didn’t think that they were going to get vaccinated. I asked them if they were crazy. Then I explained my logic.

Somewhere around 1 person in a thousand will die from COVID, I think. I may be off in that but probably not by a lot, at least compared to the percentage of adverse reactions to the vaccination that have been reported, a number probably less than 10 or so out of a couple million vaccinations. So, let’s see, 1 in 1,000 you die from COVID, or 1 in more than 1,000,000 that you might have some bad reaction to the vaccine. Is there something I’m missing? As Dirty Harry said, “Do you feel lucky?” I think I like the 1 in way over 1,000,000 odds better.

In all, it took about an hour to get my vaccine. It was close to painless, both the wait and the shot. I got mine near Northpoint Mall, 4700 North Point Parkway.

Warning: The only complication I encountered in the entire process was parking, so instead of arriving about an hour before my appointment, I would encourage you to arrive probably closer to two hours early or get someone to drop you off. I had to park a good quarter mile from the building where the shots were being administered.  They are also conducting COVID testing at the same location which is one of the reasons there was a traffic issue.

Administration and coordination of the process was exemplary. Fulton County knocked it out of the ballpark in terms of organization, customer service, efficiency and friendliness of all the working staff. I couldn’t have been more impressed. As long as you signed up for an appointment online in advance, there was an absolute minimum of paperwork required and the roughly dozen of the vaccination stations processed everyone quickly.

The processing was held in an office building that looked like it had been converted for the event. It was uncrowded and felt safe, even though there probably were 400 people in various lines when I was there. Everyone wore masks, and there was plenty of sanitizer available.

There really weren’t any surprises I encountered when I got my shot other than the fact that all of the roughly 400 or so generally older-than-65 residents who showed up were lily-white, at least that I noticed when I was there. That struck me as odd and as some sort of a red flag, considering that in Alpharetta, only 57.6 percent of residents (as of 2017) were white.  Not sure what that is all about.

Anyway, get your vaccine. For those of you who don’t plan to get it, get it anyway because getting vaccinated really isn’t just about you; it’s about the health and welfare of your family, your friends, your co-workers and your community. And it’s about being part of the solution instead of part of the problem in getting this pandemic gone sooner rather than later.

And, don’t forget to arrive a little early.