Vaccine Voices: On a mission to get a booster. ‘We are grateful that it was easy.’

On a blustery day in October, Deborah “Debbie” Becker had just one mission—to get her COVID-19 booster. At 71, both Debbie and her husband Randy, 73, have underlying conditions and are committed to protecting their health. But it wasn’t looking good.  

Photo credit: Timothy Hall
James, volunteer firefighter and former U.S. Marine and Deborah Becker after receiving her COVID-19 booster at the Waldport Community Center.

With a gusty storm blowing through, Debbie left the home she calls her “timberland retreat” and drove  30 minutes into a nearby coastal town where she planned to get the COVID-19 booster at a local pharmacy. But when she arrived, she found a crowd of people hoping for the same thing and staff taxed to their limit. She would need to wait outside, and the wait would likely be long. 

“That’s when I went over to the Waldport Community Center,” Debbie said. “The vaccination signs were out. I saw the huge yellow bus. I smiled in my heart and said ‘Aha, I won’t have to drive all the way home again’.” 

The fact that she was two hours early for the Mobile Vaccination Unit (MVU)—which comes courtesy of FEMA and offers testing and vaccines free of charge—didn’t matter. She was getting that shot. “I met one of the workers, and he gave me a clipboard with the paperwork,” Debbie said. “He said, ‘You know, you are going to have a long wait.’ I said that was okay because nothing was more important than getting my booster shot. Someone was making a coffee run. They even got me one. I was impressed.” 

As it turned out, Debbie didn’t wait that long after all. The MVU staff started the clinic early and Debbie was first in line. 

“I got my shot, went to the grocery store and went home,” Debbie said. “Life is good. We are grateful that it was easy.” 

To find a vaccine provider near you, please visit Get Vaccinated Oregon.