Why we came to the U.S. for the vaccine

In Gentle Journeys by Susan2 Comments


Now for a Covid-19 Vaccination

We planned to complete the visa renewal process and begin travel within or outside of Spain, Covid-19 permitting.  But first, we needed that darned vaccine.  It became a real conundrum.  Turns out, it’s not easy being green, I mean foreign.

Initially, Spain was not forthcoming about their plan to vaccinate legal residents even though the news addressed their plan for vaccinating refugees and asylum seekers.  The reason?  Foreign residents must buy private health insurance and the national health insurance is responsible for disbursing vaccines.

Fortunately, the private health insurance companies took action to protect their clients.  While they cannot get their hands on vaccines, they made an agreement that their clients could register with the national health office for a vaccine only.  That’s great where the information is flowing.  Our friends in Valencia had no problem with this step and one-by-one they were getting vaccinated.

The trouble is, you can only get the vaccine in the community where you have registered your residence with the town hall.  In Andalucia, where we were living, no one seemed to know anything about this agreement.

Our Saga

It was a sad day indeed when we submitted the proper form at our local health center and were told to expect to be rejected.  You’d think this was a lost in translation thing but that’s not the case.  Our friend David, who is fluent in Spanish, did the paperwork filing for us and pleaded our case.  He went to more than one office.

One “official” source suggested that we contact our embassy.  The U.S. embassy website says “The United States government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.”  Dead end.

When our friend David, who is 60, was scheduled for the vaccine we were doubly sure they forgot about us.  They were after all working in age bands and our age band had come and gone.

With everyone we knew back in the States vaccinated if they desired, we decided it was time for a U.S. visit.  Plus, there were those big, nearly empty planes and great airfares.  We really had to weigh the hardship of the journey for our old cats but travel in general totally agrees with them.

Once we made our decision and booked our tickets, the most unlikely thing happened.  Jamie received a call to be scheduled for the Covid-19 vaccine in our village of Mairena.  The date of his appointment?  The Thursday we were traveling from Granada to Madrid in order to board our flight for Chicago the following day.  After we made such a fuss about getting on the list, he politely declined.

It’s nice to know the system worked and we were not forgotten.  It was also nice to walk into a Costco in Pewaukee, Wisconsin the following Monday and receive our vaccine.  We were the only people at the pharmacy receiving a vaccine.

It’s been two weeks since we received the J&J vaccines, so we’re officially “fully” vaccinated.  There are absolutely no Covid related restrictions in the State of Wisconsin and for the first time in more than a year, life feels normal.
Susan Carey retired in 2017 after a long business career.  She writes about her experiences as a vagabond in Europe.  Susan shares her gentle life with her husband, Jamie.


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