Reflections on Receiving the 2nd Dose of the COVID Vaccine by Director, Dennis W. Streets

  • March 1, 2021
Green sign that reads "Chatham County Public Health Heroes Work Here!"

Reflections on Second COVID-19 Vaccine
by Dennis W. Streets, Director, Chatham County Council on Aging

I took this photo [shown at left] as I awaited receipt of my second COVID-19 vaccine from one of Chatham County’s Public Health nurses.

I received my first dose on February 1st and was scheduled for my second on March 1st. That was before I got a call that the Public Health Department had an extra dose if I was able to leave my work at the Pittsboro Senior Center and go to the Chatham County Agriculture and Conference Center.

I appreciate the fact that our Public Health Department is so conscientious about ensuring that all available doses of the vaccine are appropriately used. Now another eligible person can take the dose I was eager to get at the Monday clinic.

Earlier in the day, the same Public Health nurse was giving vaccinations to residents of a local assisted living facility. When not all the scheduled doses were needed there, Public Health acted quickly to arrange for distribution of the remainder.

I took this photo of the signage on the interior of the large drive-thru tent being used to provide shelter to the nurses and those getting the vaccine. The sign’s message “Chatham County Public Health Heroes Work Here” accurately reflects my sentiment. Our local Public Health personnel and all those helping them are truly heroes for all they have done and continue to do to inform and protect our community.

As I sat in my vehicle for the 15 minutes after getting the vaccine so I could be monitored for any adverse reaction, I further reflected on what we have been through over the past year. After another two weeks, I should be well protected against the severe effects of COVID-19. I appreciate our Chatham neighbors, friends, and strangers of all ages who are doing their part to protect those of us most vulnerable to the virus because of our older years. I know it is not always easy to be patient and persistent in following the 3Ws—wearing a face mask, waiting a safe distance from others, and washing our hands frequently. But now, I owe it to all others who have not yet been able to be vaccinated to show the same patience and persistence by continuing to practice the 3Ws and avoid indoor gatherings.

For those of us who have been fortunate to receive the vaccine—that’s great and we should wisely and safely celebrate. But we are not done as a community. We must continue to respect others and consistently practice the 3Ws. We must acknowledge that while the vaccination helps protect us from illness, we could still spread it to others who have not yet been vaccinated. We cannot and should not let our guard down. This is our community responsibility—our patriotic duty.