Despite her nursing background, Annette Ladendorf had always been a little cool toward shots.
“It’s something that goes way back,” she conceded. “I’ve always had a little anxiety about shots –something about having a chemical injected in your arm.”
Luckily, she’s also a strong believer in science, so when the call came from Trinity Health inviting her to get the COVID-19 vaccine, she jumped on it without hesitation.
“I was tickled to get the call,” Annette said. “I had been looking forward to having it done.”
Annette was among a thousand people who received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine February 20 as part of Trinity Health’s invitation-based mass vaccination program. On any given Saturday – when vaccine is available – Trinity Health staff issue invitations for vaccine appointments to individual patients based on North Dakota’s published breakdown of Priority Groups, which is being used as a guide for distributing the coronavirus vaccines across the state.
“Trinity Health has been moving through the Priority Groups with our vaccine supply as quickly as possible. We’re excited to be identifying and contacting our patients with two or more high-risk medical conditions, regardless of their age,” said Marketing Director Karim Tripodina. “Anyone who receives an invitation via text, email, or voicemail is encouraged to respond immediately. Vaccine supply is limited so we are only able to schedule appointments for confirmed responses from the invitations we send out.”
A total of 7,549 total doses have been administered by Trinity Health so far to 4,631 unique individuals. At the February 20 event, according to Annette, everyone seemed excited and grateful to be there.
“It was terrific,” she said. “Whoever set up the plan did a great job. It went very smoothly. I was there a very short time.”
As is recommended, Annette lingered a bit after getting her shot to make sure no major side effects emerged. In her case, there were none. “I felt great,” she said. “The next day it seemed like there was a little soreness in my upper arm, but it was my day to take care of my two great-grandsons, and soon the pain went away.”
Annette takes care of those two great-grandsons twice a week. She credits that care-giving with keeping her busy and avoiding any doldrums during the pandemic. “I’ve never been one to let myself sit and think ‘woe is me’,” she said. “I knit, I walk four to five miles a week, and I did finally get Netflix so I could sit down and watch a movie.”
As she looks forward to her second dose and achieving full vaccine efficacy, Annette also awaits the day when she can get back to an active and venturesome lifestyle. She missed out on a family reunion this past year, not to mention a trip to Thailand. She’s also had to cancel an excursion to Spain this spring. “I do have a pending round-trip ticket to Minneapolis, but I think it will be awhile yet before we can plan a big trip. If my sister is still in the traveling mode we’ll probably go someplace in a year.”
For now, she’ll have to settle for simply being a part of history and the biggest vaccination effort the world has ever known.