Sometimes life gives an unexpected surprise; some are good, others not so good. Recently, we had a pleasant and welcome surprise.

For reasons unbeknownst to the public, the government suddenly and without warning decided it was a good idea to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to the over-75 age group ahead of schedule.

I say “ahead of schedule” because a few weeks ago the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offered an online calculator to estimate when folks in that age group might receive the shot, and it indicated that sometime in March we could expect our first dose.

I wasn’t bothered by that; after all, I firmly believed that first responders, those with underlying health issues, and those in long term-health care should be first.

Usually when programs like this are announced, there are a lot of complicated steps required to get a place in line. And once in line, the procedure can become arduous before you’ll get service. To say the least, I was a bit apprehensive and expected complications.

At least in our case, this time we were pleasantly surprised by how simple it was. In the past, many have complained about how they are treated at the Lompoc Valley Medical Center (LVMC) — this time there wasn’t anything to complain about.

My wife and I have only kudos for the way LVMC administered the recent COVID-19 vaccine for patients over the age of 75.

While other areas of the country have required individuals to try to navigate computerized scheduling systems, or call automated phone systems to make an appointment, the LVMC customer service representatives physically called each of their patients to schedule a visit.

We got our call the day after it was announced that the vaccine was available to our age group. When we arrived for our scheduled appointment, a well-organized process was in place. From the time we parked the car, it was less than 30 minutes until we were on our way home. And, we didn’t even have to schedule our second appointment; they had already scheduled it for us.

For those of you who are apprehensive about getting the vaccine, it was a non-event as far as I was concerned. Despite reports of adverse reactions, other than the normal small ache associated with getting any other shot, there were no side effects for us.

So, get the shot, it may keep you from getting the crud. And keep washing your hands, try to stay six feet away from others — and wear your mask.
In the meantime, well done LVMC!

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry. He has been following Lompoc politics since 1992, and after serving 23 years appointed to various Lompoc commissions retired from public service. The opinions expressed are his own.