Now that the COVID vaccine is here, or at least here in part, the work for us begins.

It seems to me that having to register in order to make an appointment adds to the stress that everyone is feeling about being locked down for the most part.

Our elected officials, in my opinion, have done a good job in keeping us safe, even if their decisions are unpopular. If you hold office and do not realize that you cannot satisfy everyone, then you should not be in office.

Now that brings me back to the way the vaccine is being distributed. Registration online or by phone (if you can get through) certainly adds to the stress that we all feel, especially the elderly.

Since I am considered elderly, I can tell you that needles are not necessarily my favorite thing. They fall somewhere between liver and onions and anchovies.

In New Mexico, we are using large venues in order to distribute the vaccine, which under the circumstances may be the best possible way to get everyone vaccinated.

From what I have read, 70 percent or more of the population needs to be vaccinated if the vaccine is to be effective in the long term. There will always be those who refuse the vaccine, and most will follow protocol and get the shot or shots to protect themselves and their families.

Supplies of the vaccines are limited at the present time and so controlling the appointments is necessary.

Once the clinics and your doctors have access to a supply, the virus will start to disappear. That could take us to next fall if the predictions are correct.

It had been announced that there may be a new one-shot vaccine approved very soon, which will increase the supply and help us move toward our goal.

Way, way back in elementary school, we were required to have certain “shots” before we could enter school and be cleared for classes. Back then, some of the shots were administered by the school nurse or your general practitioner from an instrument that reminded me of a Flash Gordon ray gun.

We have come a long way since then, and the needles or shots are virtually painless, although the mere mention of a needle still raises the hairs on my arms.

I have my appointment scheduled and look forward to having immunity to the virus. My real fear is that people will not follow up for the second shot and thus start things all over again.

I commend our elected officials for a job well done in protecting us, and I look forward to this “new normal,” whatever that is.

(Roy Slezak is a former Rio Rancho city councilor.)