On Dec 28, I received the first of my two Moderna Covid-19 vaccines. As an “essential” worker (chaplain in various Catholic Health hospitals, Covid-19 units and nursing homes) and elderly (75) I was asked if I wanted to receive the vaccine. After responding yes to the e-mail, I was called in a matter of days by Catholic Health to arrange an appointment which occurred only a few days later.
I arrived at South Buffalo Mercy at the appointed time and was immediately met by a pleasant staff that instructed me in the process and assisted me in filling out the necessary forms. I waited about five minutes and was directed to a nurse for the administration of the vaccine.
As always in these situations, I tried to distract myself from the approaching needle and was surprised that before I realized it, it was over after feeling practically nothing. As with everyone else receiving the vaccine, I was directed to a chair to wait out a 15 minute recovery period that was exactly entered in a sign over my head.
A small number of other patients were going through this same process with equal efficiency and none were indicating any negative reactions in any way. Nor did I. At the end of the wait, I was directed to the exit desk where another staff member politely inquired about setting up my follow-up second vaccine, all the while being sensitive to my personal schedule. The entire process was on time, efficient and took about 25 minutes.
I outline all of this in response to a recent letter writer who was “appalled” that the governor outsourced vaccine distribution across Western New York to Catholic Health. Catholic Health was declared “(in)competent to do this vitally important job” because it is a “private or religious health care provider with no experience.”
I beg to differ.
The Rev. Paul Nogaro