NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On the first day of Metro Nashville Public Health Department’s COVID-19 vaccine standby list program, 15,000 people registered in hopes of getting lucky. Only two people were chosen and one of them is Nidhi Patel.
She and one of her friends recently talked about wanting to get the vaccine as soon as possible. Then, the program was announced.
“She saw it on the news, took a screenshot and sent it to me yesterday morning and I was like ‘oh my gosh, I’m going to email in real quick,’ because who knows If I get the shot or not?”
The Vanderbilt University employee has a condition that requires her to take immunosuppressant medication. She was unsure if that would make her qualify for the 1c phase, which could begin in the spring. Nashville is currently in phase 1a1.
An unknown Nashville number called her at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“They told me I had to be there in 20 or 30 minutes, and I was on the other side of town so I was a little nervous, but I made it there in time and was able to have the opportunity,” Patel said.
Nidhi was given the location and a unique code to confirm her identity upon arrival. The Metro Public Health Department says the location is in the Five Points Neighborhood in East Nashville. However, health officials say they will not publicize the exact location because it is small and they are trying to limit the number of people trying to enter.
“I am so eternally grateful. I’ve never won a lottery in my life, but this honestly is the best drawing to be able to win because it does protect me and my body, but also the individuals and my parents around me,” Patel said.
Patel met the other individual who was called, but she did not want to be identified. She said was going to email her information in every day until she got called. “I had it on my calendar at work, so every single morning first thing I do is email in. I was going to be that person that had an automatic email ready to go every single day.”
Patel and her husband, who works for Vanderbilt University Medical Center and just received his second dose on Friday, will likely purchase a lottery ticket.
“The individual that called me, I met him in person and he’s like ‘I guess you can pick up a lottery ticket on the way home,’ and I never won a drawing in my life I am one of those people. So, I told my husband ‘let’s go buy one’ and it feels like a lottery worth winning for sure.
She hopes others considering not only getting the vaccine for themselves, but for others.
“I read a letter that came from the CEO of VUMC recently and he talked about not being able to not just get the vaccine for us, but get it for the loved one and the ones that aren’t able to right away around us,” Patel said. “I think when you think about taking the vaccine, you should think about it as an armor for yourself. It’s not changing the nature of your body or anything like that. It’s not trying to harm you or affect you, it’s literally just trying to prep you to be able to handle the virus when or if you do end up getting it.”
Patel received the Pfizer vaccine and is scheduled to get her second shot in three weeks.
The COVID-19 standby list is erased entirely everyday. You can learn more about it HERE.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )