Ping!!

We have been summoned. Jeff got his text first thing this morning. I got mine an hour later. We will be getting the jab for the third dose on December 27th and 28th at the HULA in Lugo. Here, they don’t call it ‘a third dose’. Just a refuerzo. Reinforcement.

Galicia – all of Spain, really – has begun administering the two shot protocol to children 5-11 years old. This will be completed by the end of January. They could have done it much sooner but there weren’t enough vaccines for this group available. Batches covering this age range are being delivered every three weeks. The next batch comes January 3rd.

The news is filled with photos and testimonials of parents and their children. Kids smiling behind masks, holding up their bracelets proudly showing they have received the first dose. Beloved mascotas from local cartoon shows are costumed and in lines handing out free books (a very Galician thing to do) and stickers. It’s a festive atmosphere. Music plays. Children exiting the building overwhelmingly say they feel safer now. And their parents are relieved. They say they were scared but it didn’t hurt one bit. ‘We all talked about it in class today. But there was nothing to be afraid of.’

It was so wonderful to see those kids entering the vaccidromes. Just one step closer to protecting everyone. And Jeff and I were so excited to get our texts summoning us to the HULA. After us, they will begin boosting the 40-49 year olds. It was frustrating at the time, but I think Spain and Portugal’s approach to vaccines has been smart. By age group. Tell people they have to wait for it and it just activates their reptilian brain. We all crave what we don’t have. It’s why these two countries have the highest vaccination rates in the world. When the ping! comes you’re fairly salivating to get your shot. Jeff held up his phone, smiling.

‘Look what just came through.’

I was a week behind him in getting vaccinated in June. So I was surprised to get the summons just an hour after his. We will have to make two trips in to Lugo over two days after Christmas. But no worries. I would walk there if I had to.

Sadly, we will miss our Christmas dinner plans with friends in Santiago on the 25th. We just can’t risk it with Omicron. For them or for us. If only we had gotten the jab a few weeks ago. But there will be other Christmases. And with the children being called in Spain, a brighter future is just around the corner. Perhaps one where Covid will be just another cold or flu. Now, that will be a fiesta to end all fiestas. A real reason to celebrate. But entering the new year having gotten the jab is the only Christmas present I really care about this season. The perfect fit and I promise not to exchange it for something else. Jeff and I will be topped up with immunity. A little bit safer until the next round.

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