My first COVID shot 

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Vaccination form

I received my first COVID vaccination shot .

When I registered back in January, only a handful of vaccination centers were available, most of them on the left bank.

I was assigned to Palexpo, Geneva’s newly launched ‘vaccinodrome’ which is supposed to vaccinate between 3’000 and 4’000 people a day (take a tour).

Once you qualify, you receive a text message with your 2 vaccination dates. A rescheduling link is provided if the proposed dates are inconvenient. Both dates are rescheduled, and you don’t get to choose. Simple, easy and efficient.

SMS confirmation
Vaccination dates and location confirmation

On site, your appointment will be checked at the door, as well as your ID and insurance card. Further on, a triage area will dispatch you left or right and your documents will be checked again.

The admin area staffed with over 10 assistants panel per channel behind a plexiglass pane will record your ID and insurance number, and you’ll be asked to wait until assigned to a vaccination cabin.

This first stage was very efficient, and took under 10 minutes. I was assigned cabin 17 while a friend of mine was assigned cabin 49 a few minutes after me.

The cabins are organised in lanes with approximatively 10 cabins on each side, and two nurses or doctors go from cabin to cabin with a small wheeling cabinet with the vaccination material.

The status of each cabin is indicated by a white arrow pointing on status label :

  • To be cleaned (yellow)
  • Free (green)
  • To be vaccinated (red)
  • In observation (blue)
A row of cabins with their patient status signage ©
Patent status signage ©

All the cabins of my lane were occupied, and most of them were in the ‘To be vaccinated’ state.

Up until then, I was impressed by the overall efficiency of the process, until I noticed many people standing at the entry of their cabine, hailing the nurse. At which point the process felt more akin to standing at a busy bar trying to get the attention of the barman to serve you a drink.

There was no indication of the arrival order, and people were beggining to squabble.

I have no indication why this was happening in my lane and not elsewhere, as my friend was out less than 20 minutes after he arrived.

Under staffed? Delay with the vaccin preparation? Your guess is as good as mine. I was in the cabin for nearly an hour, including the 15 minutes observation period.

It got me thinking of how the current signage could account for arrival order. The sliding arrow works well for indicating the status, but not the order of arrival.

Maybe it could be enhanced with a clock inspired from the blue parking meter disks we have in Switzerland.

A slider would indicate the minutes of arrival, maybe rounded to the closest 5 minutes. That would divide the hour in 12 intervals easily identifiable.

Proposed new signage with arrival time meter
Add an arrival time meter to the side

The disk could only be visible when the status is ‘To be vaccinated’. That way, once the linear order gets broken up, there’s no doubt on who’s next.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I got my first shot (Moderna) and didn’t suffer from any after effects, aside from a sore arm the following day. I am scheduled for my second shot 28 days later, on May 22nd.

Get vaccinated, or help someone get vaccinated if you can. Get #maxinated.

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