NOTE: The following information was published March 15, 2021. For current vaccination information, visit LVHN.org/vaccines.
Rewind to a few days ago, when I got lucky and booked a COVID-19 vaccination appointment through my MyLVHN app. (Lehigh Valley Health Network’s secure patient portal.) When I got through and signed up for the Dorney Park drive-through vaccination clinic, it felt like I’d won the lottery.
Will there be lollipops?
However, as I turned onto Lincoln Avenue on Dorney’s parking lot side on the day of my shot, I was feeling nervous. Now I know lots of people who say they have no problem getting shots. Between me and you, I’m not one of them. (Like everybody, I collected a lot of lollipops from my family doctor for being so brave getting booster shots as a kid. Didn’t help.) But even I know that if we want to end this pandemic sometime soon, we should all get this shot.
Several signs and masked volunteers pointed the way through the parking lot to where vehicles were lined up in three rows. Another masked volunteer strolled by with an iPad to make sure my appointment was legitimate. When it checked out okay, she scribbled a yellow smiley face on the upper corner of my windshield.
A second masked volunteer offered some paperwork. I quickly filled out a consent form, then looked over a vaccine fact sheet, a guide card indicating what would happen from here, and my official “I GOT MY SHOT” sticker. About 25 minutes after I had turned down Lincoln Avenue, I got waved around to the vaccination tents. I cringed as I pulled up in Lane 10 to my destination. Instinctively, I looked for lollipops.
Somebody wrote “1334” in smiley-face yellow on the opposite side of my windshield. I would later find out this signified my vaccination time so masked volunteers waiting on the other side of the tent would know how to time the 15 minutes post-vaccination period to be sure I didn’t have an adverse reaction to the vaccine.
Quick and literally painless
A masked clinician then rolled up my T-shirt sleeve a bit, swabbed my shoulder with some alcohol and warned me of an impending pinch. It wasn’t much of a pinch actually, and I wondered if he had missed. But he confidently placed a Band-Aid over the injection site, gave me a vaccination record card to bring along for the booster on April 1, and sent me along to the masked volunteers who would keep me entertained until 1349 (1:49 p.m.).
By 1353 (1:53 p.m.), I was back on Route 222 heading home. Local media said 3,600 people would be vaccinated at Dorney Park on this day. That’s a whole lot of yellow smiley faces. And there are a whole lot more to come.
Have you signed up for MyLVHN yet? Visit LVHN.org/MyLVHN for everything you need to get started.
About the author:
Ted Williams is a Lehigh Valley native and writer He was a long-time web and print journalist for The Morning Call and The Express-Times, as well as a writer at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) for six years. Today, he is a freelance writer who contributes articles to LVHN’s news blog.