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Letter to the Editor – by Holly Bower

On January 14, 2021 in the Douglas County Herald, it was announced that the vaccinations would be coming soon. Just go online and register. Oh boy! I kind of thought it was a registry for all and that the powers to be would call and say where and when to report. It didn’t quite work that way though. At that time, no mention of Ava going to have a clinic. Heard that a lot of folks spent time trying to get through to the health dept. and no online registration. Information is crucial to a well planned operation. 

Turns out that the registration was for West Plains. I wished the article on 1-14 had stated that: register online if you want a shot in West Plains. OK, I traipsed on over there and got a shot. Three hours of driving time, gas guzzled, and time wasted, but I got my shot.

When my second one was due, everything was canceled due to inclement weather. The following week things were up and operational, even in Ava. I got the idea to call the health department and asked to have it here. I really didn’t want to go back to West Plains. The answers I received has prompted me to write this article. The first person I talked to about getting the shot in Ava said no because I wasn’t registered in Ava. She talked to someone else there and the same answer. I wasn’t happy with the answer, so the RN was consulted. Her reply was, “Your shot is waiting for you in West Plains and besides we will be giving first shots only.”

So, on a rainy day, I took off to West Plains again. I asked the West Plains people if it would have been alright to have gotten my second shot in Ava. Their answer was “I don’t see why not.” By the way, do you all know that the first and second shots are the same. That’s right, identical! People getting their first shot, will follow up with the same shot three weeks later.

Unless you are God, you don’t know exactly how many vials each clinic will need. The best that can be done is an educated guess. My name wasn’t on a shot sitting in West Plains by the way. People that had registered, might go to another clinic closer to them, some might change their minds and there may be many other variables. What should be done is figuring out how to transport extra vials to places in need.

Name of the game is shots in arms and common sense. So, for the rest of you who haven’t been vaccinated yet, I pray that you don’t meet resistance on these issues, and if you do, you can now educate them.

Thanks to the many people involved. Kudos to the people in West Plains for a job well done.