In Search of a COVID Shot

I know I mentioned that we were leaving on Saturday, but as so often happens (especially this last year) things changed.  It started with my daughter who is pregnant in Minneapolis telling me that she and her partner had scheduled their COVID vaccinations.  This led me to really thinking about what it would look like if we didn’t get the vaccine before meeting our new grandson and I really didn’t like how that would work.

Initially I thought we could maybe get a Johnson & Johnson shot during our travels but the more I looked into it the worse I felt about our chances.  The rules from state to state vary widely and timeframes vary as well.  It’s all well and good to say it’s likely we would be able to get a shot but likely and definitely in this case are worlds apart.

I talked to some RV friends of mine next and several of them had managed to get shots in a different state than their domicile.  That was good news but one common factor in their stories was the amount of hours they spent online trying to find an open appointment.  Add to that the fact that we would need to stay in one place for at least 30 days if we got the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine and the idea of trying to find a shot while we were moving was daunting.

Next I thought maybe I could find something in South Carolina, but that turned out to be a real mess. All states are different, but South Carolina is really struggling and they don’t have enough vaccines to cover their 1A patients let alone enough for the 1C that we are in this state.  I even asked Lee to go to the Walgreen’s across the street from us to see if we could get on some kind of a waiting list for unused injections but that conversation only cemented how difficult things are here.  The woman he talked to was absolutely exhausted and although she confirmed that they would put a general call over the PA when they had unused injections she also said it was extremely random when that happened and they maintained no list of names. You basically have to be in the building when it happens.

Part of the problem here is many of the appointments are through private providers and those lists (best we can tell) are all separate.  Monday morning Lee woke up and checked Walgreen’s, Publix, Costco and the state site and couldn’t find any appointments for anyone this entire week.  That was pretty upsetting and we talked about widening our search so I decided to look in Florida, which is our domicile.  Amazingly I went on their site, found Nassau County (the closest to us) and within minutes found two adjacent appointments for Saturday 3/27.  It was amazingly easy, so much so that I doubted I had done it right, but in no time we had confirmations for our Moderna appointments.

The downside is we have a 3-1/2 hour drive each way that we have to make twice but honestly I feel like we won the lottery.  Even better because as of today (3/22) Florida opened it up to age 50 and above and we don’t need to worry about proving residency because our drivers licenses are all the proof we need.  Could we have found something in Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, or Minnesota…maybe.  But I would much rather stay here the extra 30+ days and then continue our travels.

To be clear I personally know people who have gotten the shot out of their home state and not had an issue, but that experience seems to vary as widely as everything else does in this vaccine rollout.  Not the first time our life was complicated by our travels and certainly not the last, I am just grateful that this time we stayed in place until we worked it out rather than pushing forward and hoping.  This is just too important to us.


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12 thoughts on “In Search of a COVID Shot

  1. Congratulations on finding appointments! My husband has had his first and I have my appt for my first this Thursday. I had to wait for the age to be lowered to 50, and you are so right, it does feel like winning the lottery. lol (We live in FL also fulltime, after rv’ing for 5 years.)

    It must depend on what part of SC you are in how the vaccine rollout is going. Our son and daughter-in-law live in SC near Charlotte and it seems to be going well there. She is in Group 4 and was able to get an appointment within a week when Group 4 became eligible. Her parents and sister, a teacher, have already been vaccinated. Or else they are just really lucky! 🙂

  2. Hi Tracy, Glad you secured a shot in FL. We are still in FL and were able to prove seasonal residency but booking was the real frustration. We FINALLY got 2 appointments but it meant driving 5 hrs. to Jacksonville. We got the first one 2 weeks ago and will wrap up with the second one before we leave FL and get back on the road. Like you, that was the major consideration. Stay safe and be well!

  3. We’ve had the same troubles. Been on the waiting list here in TX for a long time ( over 65). But our domicile is Florida, so I’m sure we are being skipped over. My husband was finally called in, but too late to get the second vaccine as we will already be gone from TX. This way of life has definitely made it more challenging. I think we’ve found a way around getting our vaccine in Indiana as we travel through there next month.

  4. Glad to read about up your vaccine news! Do you mind if I ask what work your Minneapolis daughter does, as 65 is still the cutoff here in MN for underlying health issues or certain jobs, and I know she is far, far younger than that!

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