THERE is a 25-metre queue leading up to the door of the Wodonga Vaccination Hub in the former Coles building.
Did we all book a 1.15pm jab or are some folk chancing a walk-in?
I ask a few others and there are some in each camp so I fall into line.
Within seconds a staffer comes out and divides the queue like Moses parting the Red Sea - bookings up against the wall and walk-ins against the rail. There are slightly more bookings.
A group of 1pm bookings are called into the building first followed almost immediately by my 1.15pm cohort.
Inside we join another short queue, snaking its way to several receptionists.
It looks like the check-in line at the Qantas international terminal but is far more efficient, from memory.
No one has luggage, however. Instead everyone is wearing a face mask; some single-use surgical and others fabric.
After showing our driver's licence and Medicare cards we're soon seated 1.5 metres apart, waiting for our name to be called out.
I'm glad I'm not the only Gen-Xer here for a COVID-19 vaccination today.
I don't want to look like a queue-jumper given Australia's collective hatred of queue-jumpers even when there is technically no queue for some things like, oh let's say, seeking safe asylum.
Anyhow, there looks to be about four of us who grew up in the 1980s listening to Queen or the 1990s listening to Pearl Jam among the Baby Boomer crowd.
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With so many things outside our control since COVID-19 crashed our party early in 2020, vaccination will help us get back on track to a new-normal. As some with compromised health can't even choose vaccination, it's down to the rest of us to step up to protect the vulnerable.
Some people are seated alongside their friends.
I assume they're walk-ins because I'm not sure how you'd chance a girls' day out via the booking system. It's a nice way to do it, anyhow. I got through to a phone operator on my fifth call to the booking number over about 10 days. Victoria had just gone into lockdown, vaccination demand was high and 40 to 49-year-olds had just become eligible for a jab. It was hardly surprising it took a few attempts.
Within five minutes of being seated at the Wodonga clinic, I'm in a vaccination pod reading about what I've signed up for.
My lovely nurse asks if I have any allergies or problems with needles.
"No," I say, "But I assume I'm not getting shellfish or Penicillin!"
It's all over before I know it and I'm briefed about booking the second dose within the right timeframe.
Truth be told, the booking was infinitely more painful than the jab. (This week I got through on the first attempt though.)
Waiting in the post-jab area for the required 15 minutes with water or apple juice on offer, I'm grateful that people in our community have turned out in these numbers.
With so many things outside our control since COVID-19 crashed our party early in 2020, vaccination will help us get back on track to a new-normal.
As some with compromised health can't choose vaccination, it's down to the rest of us to step up to protect the vulnerable.
At first the federal government told us it wasn't a race; Victoria now says it's very much a race.
I'd just say, walk, don't run, but do get in the arena.
Aside from not being able to sleep on my left arm for a few nights, I didn't have any side-effects from Pfizer. (Some have felt worse with different vaccines or doses.)
Still, needing to roll over at night is a small price to pay to minimise the COVID-19 risk to yourself, your family and the community.
To make a booking at the Albury Wodonga Health Clinic phone 1800 675 398. The first appointment at the Wodonga clinic is 9am on Mondays and 8.30am Tuesday to Friday. It's closed noon-12.45pm. The last walk-in appointment, when available, is at 3.30pm and the last booked appointment 4pm. In times of high demand, the clinic may be closed to walk-ins.
The clinic is in the former Coles building (184 High Street), with access from Hovell Street.
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