November 23, 2021
It was Friday evening just before 7 p.m. and the party was just getting started at Dorchester’s hottest spot to grab a shot, shoot the breeze with the neighbors and catch up on the latest gossip around the ‘hood.
I’m not talking about the Eire Pub or the Blarney Stone, although those are fine establishments. But, the pharmacy section inside the CVS on Gallivan Boulevard was positively popping on Nov. 19, the first day that fully-vaxxed adults could get their booster under revised federal guidelines.
My wife and I had last rolled up our sleeves to get our second Moderna jabs in April, so we were well within the recommended six-month window to get boosted. Earlier in the week, I’d read that other state health officials were straight-up ignoring the official CDC guidelines and urging all double-vaxxed adults to go ahead and get the booster. It wouldn’t be long, I reckoned, until all 50 states and the territories would get the green-light to drop the ropes.
Last Monday, then, I logged onto the CVS portal and followed the prompts to get us in the queue. As it turned out, there were several convenient options in the neighborhood or close-by, but we chose the Gallivan location because they had Moderna on tap, our preferred pandemic protection since March 2021. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
There were tons of slots open throughout the week, but I opted to snag the 6:45 Friday evening “happy hour” on Gallivan. I figured that if either of us was gonna get savaged by a vaccine-induced hangover, it would be better to gobble up a sleepy Saturday than a school and work day.
Back in the spring, dose two had me flat on my back for a half-day, sore and aching like I’d been tossed off a bucking steed onto my hindquarters. My muscle memory from that lost Wednesday kicked in something fierce. (As it turned out, we both tolerated the booster without any trouble.)
The nurse who jabbed us shared that she’d already dosed upwards of 70 people that day, a steady stream of thirsty Boomers and giddy Gen Xers slipping into her “work-station,” nothing more than a card-table and two plastic folding chairs curtained off between the soda fridge and the “family planning” aisle. After she Hancocked our CDC-issued vax card, we were advised to wait 15 minutes before leaving the store.
Honestly, still not sure if that was a legit safety precaution or a clever marketing ploy to soak up a few greenbacks from us Club-CVS captives, but it worked. We stocked up on Essentia water and commenced hydrating right there at the register, fully intent on occupying a proper stool in an actual neighborhood watering hole by Saturday night.
It was real, CVS on Gallivan. See you in six months.