By Terry Harris
Although fewer than half of the 1,000 doses of anti-COVID vaccine initially promised appeared for last Saturday’s POD (Point of Delivery) at the Airfield 4H Center, Sussex County Emergency Services Coordinator Reid Foster still declared it “a good event.”
The parking lot was packed, but deputies kept things moving smoothly outside and inside the lines to receive vaccinations remained relatively short and also moved along smoothly as both volunteers and paid staff kept busy at their assigned tasks.
Some were lined up along a table by a row of tall windows providing a serene natural backdrop as they drew doses of the Pfizer vaccine into syringes.
Two Waverly EMS members waited on standby to assure everyone’s safety. One, after remarking that generally the only issue face at COVID vaccination clinics would be mild anxiety as allergic reactions are extremely rare, added that he was unaware of any that had occurred within Virginia, but protocol required that they be on hand and ready to assist as a precaution against the possibility.
Others on hand to help, many in uniform, stayed busy overseeing the flow of the crowd, giving vaccinations, and handling registrations.
At one registration table local sisters Paula Motton and Paulette Nowell smiled as the third sister, Pamela Jones, got up from taking registrations to fill out one herself in preparation for receiving her own first vaccination.
While Foster circled the huge room, he admitted to some frustration with the number of vaccinations they were able to give that day, but added, “We’ve had over 400 people who have gotten shots, and the National Guard has been here, which has been a real blessing because it’s been tough finding nurses to administer the shots.”
He also said that other than a scheduled upcoming second-shot clinic he has no idea when Crater Health District will be bringing more vaccine to Sussex, adding, “I do wish we could get more shots in arms, but all in all, it’s been a good event.”
As things were winding down Jennifer Roberts, one of the last to arrive for her appointment, waited patiently on the front porch as a guardsman checked her temperature before admission to the facility. She explained that she had been “trying hard” for over a month to get a COVID vaccination but had been ineligible to get the shot she so badly wanted despite being a home health worker.
When asked how she was feeling about finally being about to receive the vaccine, her colorful mask could not hide the big smile in her eyes as she said, “I’m happy. Very, very happy.”