One jab in the right arm, one jab in the left arm.

We are now living in the endemic stage of COVID-19, similar to the endemic stage of influenza. At this point in our lives, we’re most likely looking at inoculations and vaccinations every year, similar to the vaccinations we get each year to protect us from the flu.

Last week, I made an appointment for a vaccination for both the COVID-19 Bivalent medicine, and for the flu vaccine. Figured I’d take care of both jabs in one day.

And how far we’ve come in the process of vaccination. I remember two years ago, when I was trying to plan for a vaccination – I checked the New York State vaccination website for vaccination locations, and was prepared to drive from Albany to White Plains (twice, for two shots 30 days apart). It was only when my primary care physician called me and said she had COVID-19 vaccines at her practice and recommended I drive over, that I scrapped the White Plains trip and got jabbed instead in Albany.

Fast forward to 2021, and I’m getting updated booster jabs at a COVID-19 inoculation station at Crossgates Mall – a staging site that previously housed a Lord & Taylor department store. And now, I’m pulling up to Marra Pharmacy in Cohoes, an independent pharmacy and durable medical provider, for my double jab.

Went like clockwork – well, after a slight delay when the pharmacist required my driver’s license and insurance card, since I wasn’t in the Marra Pharmacy database yet – but once that hurdle was surpassed, I took off my jacket, bared my sleeves, and then 1-2-3-poke, 1-2-3-pink, all done.

Side effects? Nothing out of the ordinary. I felt some aches in my shoulders from the injections, but nothing that hindered my movements or my daily duties. And if nothing else, my body now has barriers against influenza and the novel coronavirus for another stretch of time.

This is good.

And for all you anti-vaxxers out there who are reading this and tearing out your hair and gnashing your teeth and rendering your garments – well, nyah nyah, I got vaccinated and you couldn’t stop me, sucks to be you. And before someone crows out, “But Chuck, being anti-vaccine is for personal choice, why would you deny someone their right to make their own decisions about health?”

Funny, those same people who scream out “BuT MuH FrEeDuMs!” are the same ones that are bellowing about a woman’s right for body autonomy and reproductive choice. You know, the old “Rules For Thee, Not For Me” credo.

Listen. Vaccines are good. They’re designed by scientists to protect you from diseases THAT CAN FUCKING KILL YOU. This is important. VERY important. Two years ago, our world was in a near-collapse because of COVID-19. And although we haven’t completely eliminated the virus, we have found ways to limit its pervasiveness. And we didn’t mitigate it with horse dewormer or sheep drench or bloodstream-injected-bleach or aquarium chemical cleaner, as some people have claimed would work.

Thank GOD we have the ability today to walk into a pharmacy, roll up our sleeves, and get a Creamsicle-flavored COVID-19 injection (okay, maybe it’s not Creamsicle-flavored, but let me have some fun here).

So if you get a chance, set up your COVID-19 vaccination booster appointment. And get a flu shot while you’re at it. Two for the price of one.

I’m definitely good with this.