We tend to believe that government divisions, offices, or departments are inefficient or disorganized, but occasionally one will surprise or even amaze us. My recent experience getting my Covid-19 vaccination proved that one government department–namely the New Mexico Department of Health–is highly efficient and well-organized. With a goal of vaccinating about 2.11 million people, I could imagine dozens of ways for this process to get screwed up, but it did not. It was extremely well-planned and executed, using modern technology.
First, we registered with DOH online, giving them our basic information so they could prioritize us properly, and we received a 7-digit Vaccination Code that tracked us through the process. Because of our age, we qualified as “Old Farts” (I think they used a different term), so we received some preferential treatment–namely, earlier jabs that our younger friends. I received an email with the registration details and instructions to go to the UNM Arena, “The Pit”), on January 22 at 1:30 pm, which we did. The line was long but everyone was inside within five minutes. There seemed to be about forty or fifty vaccination stations on the circular mezzanine level, and I was quickly sent to one. There was a five minute wait for people in line in front of me, but then I got the shot and proceeded to a waiting area for 15 minutes in case I had any complications, which I didn’t. My cell phone received both a text and an email notifying me that the 15 minutes were over and I could leave. The entire process took less than a half hour, and I was given a proof of vaccination for my wallet.
By the time we got back home, I had an email and text from NMDOH with the date and time of the booster shot, because they gave me the Pfizer vaccine. Now that, my friends, is governmental efficiency at the highest level!