Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ,

A few hours earlier, I received the first shot of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. I hope that my letter this week will not come across as boasting nor arouse any jealousy out of others. Rather, I hope to share some of my experience so far and some thoughts.

First, I must admit that my arm is a bit sore. Though, I find that to be the common, personal experience when it comes to vaccines and things like blood work. Even the finger prick they do in the doctor’s office is usually still smarting for me several hours after the fact. Otherwise, I feel fine and normal. I hope that might be a relief to anyone who’s a bit nervous about potential side-effects and what most people are experiencing. Speaking only from my own view, I trust that side-effects are minimal.

The process was extremely smooth and easy. The vaccine was administered through Virtua and it was a welloiled machine. I was notified of my eligibility for the vaccine on Friday afternoon. I called and got an appointment for Monday. After some basic online sign-ups and check-ins, I showed up for my assigned slot, got a temperature check, went through some basic questions verifying my information and identity, then was directed to a station to get my shot. After receiving it, I walked over to a waiting and observation area for fifteen minutes and on my way out, scheduled my second shot in three weeks. It was less than thirty minutes in
and out.

You might be wondering how I managed to get a vaccine so soon. In some ways, so am I. Because I do visit hospitals and nursing homes as part of my ministry, Virtua has included me and other clergy as part of their staff to receive the vaccine. I recognize this as a privilege and I’m grateful. But to be honest, I struggled a bit
with this. So many individuals would like to have and need the vaccine for their personal safety. Is it right that I should go before them? While my personal safety is a factor, and that of my loved ones, the real reason I am comfortable with getting the vaccine at this time stem from my concern for you, my flock. If my being vaccinated can help eliminate the risk of transmission within our community, then I’m on-board with early vaccination.

I’ll close with this. When the nurse was administering my shot today, she asked how I felt about getting it. I responded positively, saying that I thought it was great that it was starting to roll out throughout the population. I echo that again to you. When the chance comes for you to receive the vaccine, I wouldn’t hesitate
to get it. For personal safety, the safety of loved ones, for community safety; it’s important to get the vaccine when the time comes.

Peace and Goodness,
Fr. Dan