The “Take a Bite Out of COVID” mobile vaccine event at several venues in downtown The Dalles last Friday, May 7, was an unqualified success. It was well received, ran smoothly and easily exceeded expectations.
The evening event was conceived as a fun and convenient way to get vaccinated, using the one-and-done Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Participants were given $10 in tokens toward their food bill. The mobile vaccine clinic, run by North Central Public Health District, visited the Rivertap, Bargeway Pub and then ended at Sunshine Mill Artisan Plaza and Winery for its movie night.
Hopes were to administer at least 30 vaccines, and by evening’s end, 48 people were vaccinated. Plans are to do another “Take a Bite Out of COVID” event on May 21. More details will follow shortly.
Dr. Miriam McDonell, Health Officer for North Central Public Health District, took a break from preparing syringes at the Bargeway Pub to say, “I’m delighted by how many people turned out and how appreciative they were.”
The health district learned right away that its idea was a success when a line quickly formed at the first stop on the mobile tour, the Rivertap.
Leanne Lewis took her place in line and said she was getting vaccinated “because I want to travel. Because if you don’t get one, here’s the deal: Nope, don’t come to Canada. Don’t go to Mexico.’”
Ed Devlaeminck and Joe Newman joined the vaccine line at the Rivertap. Devlaeminck said, “I want to be able to go traveling again. Not a particularly good reason for the rest of society. I just want to do my own stuff. Plus I want the money,” he said of the $10 in tokens he was about to get.
Scott Austin also lined up at the Rivertap for his dose, saying he got the vaccine “because I’m diabetic and I’ve got other things going on and my wife works around people and I do too. I think we’ve got to be grown up about this. I get my flu shot ever year, we’ve got to take care of this stuff.”
At the Bargeway, Nolan Hare said, “It’s a cool, convenient opportunity” to get the vaccine. “I haven’t had a chance yet to get one.”
Kim Odom headed to the Bargeway for the vaccine, saying she got it “because I have underlying health issues and I don’t have medical insurance, and I figured it would probably be best, so I so appreciate this, and I work in a very public place.”
William Justesen rolled up his sleeve for the vaccine at the Bargeway. Asked why he was getting the vaccine now, he said, “First of all, I heard I could get free tokens at the Bargeway. Second, I want to get this all done, the pandemic. I’m ready to move past it, I’m sure the rest of the country is too.”
Maritza Mondragon has places she wants to be, and that’s why she showed up at the Bargeway for her vaccine. “I travel a lot and I don’t want to quarantine each time. That’s the only reason. I haven’t had COVID and I want to prevent it, too.” She also liked that she didn’t have to make an appointment and “I could just show up.”
Aimee and Aaron Anderson made it a date night to go to the Bargeway to get their vaccine. Aimee wanted the vaccine “because I know people that have compromised immune system and I want to get out there and be a part of this. I wanted to be on the winning team. You guys made it so convenient for us.”