Gephardt: Getting my COVID-19 vaccination was quick, easy process thanks to healthcare pros

Gephardt Gets Vaccinated
Bill Gephardt is prepped to receive his first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Feb. 22, 2021. Photo: Gephardt Daily

SANDY, Utah, Feb. 23, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — I hope you have the same fabulous experience I had when you get your COVID-19 vaccination.

I received my shot Monday at the Mountain America Exposition Center in Sandy and, quite frankly, I was surprised at how well the Salt Lake County Health Department provided a quick, efficient, and extremely organized procedure.

I was expecting to be hanging around for two or three hours; I was in and out in about 45 minutes.

I arrived at the Expo Center five minutes early and volunteers opened the door. Inside, another volunteer with a hand-held computer confirmed my appointment and put me in the line for my first Pfizer dose.

Turns out, there was a little problem with my information, so while keeping my place in line, I was sent to a table with three very friendly and helpful volunteers who straightened out the problem in minutes.

Back in line, I waited another 30 seconds or so before I was directed to one of a couple of dozen tables staffed with health department workers. They confirmed my personal and health information. That took about three minutes.

The workers then dispatched me to Table 17 in the next huge room at the expo center, where a worker was waiting with a syringe. She asked me a couple allergy and health questions, then, just like that, she inoculated me in the arm with my first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. She filled out my vaccination card and sent me to another huge room, where I was told to take a seat. “We want you to wait 15 minutes before you leave to make sure you don’t have a negative reaction,” she said.

I didn’t, and nobody else I saw had a negative reaction either.

About 10 minutes later, a volunteer walked up with a hand-held computer and offered to make my next appointment for the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine. With the push of a couple buttons, he set me up for my next visit on March 15 at 11:15, and sent me on my way.

The only glitch in the entire process actually involved making the original appointment. When Gov. Spencer Cox announced last Thursday morning that the 65- to 70-year-old group could begin making appointments for the vaccinations, we did just that, and so did a whole lot of other people. Trouble was the state computers weren’t quite programmed to respond to the governor’s announcement until 6 p.m.

When I called early in the day, I found myself placed on hold with a little background music. Every 15 seconds or so a voice counted down the people in front of me, beginning at 185. When a live human finally answered, I was asked to call back later. I did exactly that and it was smooth sailing from there on out.

I am personally looking forward to my next visit, not only for the completion of my vaccination course, but to once again experience the huge friendliness and efficiency of my first visit.

I’m also looking forward to spending time with the grandchildren, after a trying and uncertain year, along with other family members, and, of course, my dear friends.

For those who may still be a bit apprehensive about the actual process of being vaccinated, I urge you to consider my experience Monday. If enduring a little Muzak is the worst of it, the downside is small, indeed.

For more information on eligibility and how to schedule your COVID-19 vaccinations, go to



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