Tuesday, April 13

Using Walgreens For Covid Vaccine Semi-Fail

I was recently deemed eligible For a Covid-19 vaccine. Gateway Mall was a good site when my wife went, but I decided I'd save some time driving and choose a local Walgreens. Kind of a mistake, though I am vaccinated.

Signing up online was not easy. With Gateway, we just drove to a parking lot in the rain, assuming it wouldn't be as busy, but Walgreens has you sign up. This seems to make sense, unless the app assumes you're your wife and then acts all glitchy. Still, I eventually booked an appointment online, though I did not get confirmation sent to my email for roughly two hours. Of course, I panicked and figured I needed to sign up again because most confirmations are instant. Actually, I was all set to venture over to Gateway when I finally got my confirmation for Wednesday at 9:15. 

I was supposed to be there 15 minutes early, so I was, but I was all alone. No employees at the Covid Counter until about 9:10. Then I had to re-fill out the entire form I'd filled out and printed (based on directions) online. But I was first for the day, so as other people kept showing up for their 9:30 and 9:45 appointments, at least my place was saved. I got my own shot around 9:30, but when I left at 9:45, none of the other half-dozen people had been checked in, so I think Walgreens was in for a long day.

My second dose was scheduled for 4 weeks, but Walgreens decided to follow manufacturer and CDC recommendations for Pfizer and allow me to reschedule, so I ended up at a totally different store for my second dose. Once again, I was the first victim of the day, so I didn't have to wait in a line, but it still somehow took too long. And my little vaccine card signed by the first Walgreens was replaced with a more official cardstock version (maybe more like a passport), along with much sloppier handwriting. The biggest issue was the pharmacist not wanting to accept that I could change my scheduled dose, even counting the number of days on her fingers in order to confirm I was waiting the full three weeks. But I was probably the only person she'd seen who actually bothered to change the second dose once scheduled. 

I got my second dose and was on my way after 15 minutes. However, the app, which is supposed to be a record of my vaccination, didn't show that I'd gotten my second dose until the next day, and then it said it was the day before I actually got it. And my first dose date disappeared. In fact, I also got a text message while I was waiting for my vaccine that I'd completed getting my vaccine, so the total number of technical glitches was fairly high. I guess I have to hope I really got the second dose of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine rather than some rubella vaccine. The side-effects seem to indicate I got the right one. 

If you want to avoid the potential of big crowds or long drives, then Walgreens might work for you, but the benefits of being a member with an app are kind of negated by the screwy app and oddly long wait times. However, the fact remains that I got vaccinated, and you should, too. 

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