Local 4 meteorologist Brandon Roux received his first coronavirus vaccination alongside his son, Christian -- here’s how it went:
I’m wondering if anyone else out there feels the way that I feel about the painful wait to even get the first COVID vaccination: When am I going to get my turn?
I’m almost 50 years old and I’m a Type 1 Diabetic, so in my mind I thought I’d be toward the top of the second wave list of eligibility. But my qualifications never matched up with Michigan’s list of those who should receive the shot.
As a meteorologist on Local 4 News Today, I actually do pay attention to the news portion of our show. So, I pounced on the Meijer announcement to team with Ford Field and open a massive Vaccine Center to safely give shots to as many as 6,000 people a day. I texted ‘EndCovid’ to 75049 and I was able to register. I already registered with the Beaumont Hospital COVID Portal, Wayne County, CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens -- one of these has got to hit. Finally I received a text from Meijer and I set my appointment for Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 2:50 p.m.
Knowing I was set for my shot, the talented Nick Monacelli reported on our air one morning that many people were not showing up to Ford Field for their appointments. He passed along that it opened the door to many who hadn’t even made an appointment there. So, I rolled the dice and brought my 17-year-old son, Christian, with me because he, like his father, is a Type 1 Diabetic in the high-risk category for COVID-19.
Our experience couldn’t have gone better. We parked for free just a few paces from the stadium. I presented my appointment information to security outside of Ford Field Gate A and told them my son didn’t have an appointment. But he really deserved to be there with me. We were allowed passage and when we got to our registration area, the volunteers were very understanding and got Christian into the system after we filled out a quick questionnaire.
We were guided to a private and large screened cubical (#4 like Local 4) where we were greeted by a military volunteer from Oklahoma City. He was originally from Columbia, South America, but was in the U.S. Military for years protecting our freedoms. There were hundreds of men and woman like him there from military bases around the country, dedicated to making sure people like Christian and I get our shots in a copacetic and informative way.
I tried to take some pictures of Christian and I getting our shots, but the officer said it was forbidden and who am I to disagree? I told him that I was documenting my experience for a local TV station, and he just said, “I’m sorry, but there are no exceptions. No pictures are allowed of us giving you the shot .”
More: Tips for a smooth COVID vaccination process
After we got our Pfizer shots, we were given a date in April for our second shot and then we were directed to a recovery area inside of Ford Field. The goal is for you to wait about 20 minutes, safely spaced from others, to make sure there are no crazy reactions to the medicine. We both felt fine and when our time elapsed, we left Ford Field.
I’d say the whole process took about 45 minutes for the two of us. Incredible!
Here are my takeaways from my first COVID vaccine experience:
First, what a place to get this shot. Here we are in this crazy pandemic unlike any experience any of us have ever faced, and where do we get our shot? Ford Field! I will never forget it and am so thankful for our smooth experience.
Next, the volunteers. It kinda brought tears to my eyes to think about all the things these men and women sacrifice for me and you. I thank God for them!
And the last thing I’ll say is that if the chips haven’t fallen in your favor, don’t give up, try everything in your power and don’t be afraid to take a chance like I did bringing my son, Christian. There are vaccines out there with a short shelf life that may not be getting used. Consider it serendipity if you show up somewhere where they have extra vaccines that might otherwise be thrown away.
Most importantly, stay vigilant, and don’t assume that we know everything about this virus and how to stop the spread. Don’t let your guard down, I know I won’t. Good luck to you and yours!
Michigan COVID-19 vaccinations: How to find appointments, info on phases