As I write this it’s exactly 10 months, 4 weeks and 1 day since full lockdown started in England, but we were getting twitchy a few weeks before that for sure. The UK is in another full lockdown phase and everyone is pretty fed up. As we approach the lockdown anniversary, we are realising that now everyone around the world will have had at least one lockdown birthday and at time, it can feel like this will never end.
BUT, as much as I am not a fan of Boris, I think the roll-out of the vaccination programme is going really well. The oldest and most vulnerable have been offered the vaccine first and then the process has then been working it’s way down the age group and the next level of vulnerable people.
In my family this means that both my dad and M’s parent’s have been vaccinated as well as 2 of my brother-in-laws. Also, as we discovered last week, I was also eligible for a vaccine as part of the UK’s Category 6 eligibility criteria. Before anyone feels like we cheated, no-one broke any rules or jumped any queues, everyone in our family were vaccinated because we were eligible following the guidelines and set criteria. Don’t forget, just because every detail of someone’s life isn’t shared online, it doesn’t mean that quietly people are struggling with all sorts. But I digress….
So what happened when I went for the vaccine? Well firstly my appointment was in Main Outpatients at Warrington Hospital and I have to say, on the day that I went, they were BUSY. So much so, I turned up 7 minutes early for my appointment and was told to come back at the right time. Just too many people queuing. But also though, everyone was so kind and patient at all times. There was no rush or hurry, everyone was listened to and helped with such compassion, it made for a very calm experience.
When I was booked in from home, I was sent a QR code, which was scanned by the staff and then when I was booked in, I had to fill in health and consent questionnaires. There was a lot of waiting around, because they were so busy and after maybe 1:40hrs I was eventually called into a room with a nurse. She was so lovely and that pre-amble chat for the vaccine was kind and personable. The vaccination itself was honestly painless and done in seconds. The nurse told me the possible and common side effects were a sore arm and flu-like symptoms. She explained that not everyone had side effects, but the flu-like symptoms were my body’s immune system reacting to building antibodies to COVID-19. I actually received the Pfizer vaccine and whilst I didn’t have a choice, from overheard conversations, the hospital were delivering both the Astra Zeneca and Pfizer 💉 to patients.
Once I was done, I was asked to wait 15 minutes in a holding area to monitor for immediate reactions and then I could leave, which I did without issue. I felt fine for the rest of that day, but as I yawned around tea time and lifted my arms, I noted that my arm was starting to feel a little sore. That evening I had the chills a tiny bit, as I felt cold in a warm room, but I took some paracetamol and that quickly sorted itself out.
The next day I woke up feeling quite tired, which I could describe better as feeling “wiped out”. So I worked in the morning and had the afternoon off. I spent the afternoon on the couch and had a much needed nap. But the next day (Saturday after vaccine on Thursday) I woke up feeling fine. The advice I was given by the nurse was that side effects lasted 1-2 days and anything after that was not a side effect and should be treated as such, so this fitted in perfectly with my experience.
So hopefully in a couple of weeks my vaccine will have reached full efficacy and I will just be cruising until my 2nd dose in May. Receiving the vaccine when I did, free of charge, courtesy of our wonderful NHS was a privilege and I feel very lucky to have been offered it. I can only say that in my humble opinion, the vaccine is our only way out of this mess – so if you can, I would encourage you to get your vaccine as 🔜 as possible.
Hope you are all doing OK. Take Care. 🌻