COVID-19 Vaccination Diary #1

Well, that’s it. First vaccination done and out of the way.

I figured it would be quite fun to do a little diary (almost in the form of a self-interview) of what happened leading up to it, what happened when I was there and what has happened since.

In doing so, maybe I can encourage some of those who are worried or skeptical to go and get their vaccination done.

Was I worried beforehand?

Yes, very. I have never been an anti-vaxxer, but when the media gets into people’s head it’s hard to think logically.

Even if you think you are a pretty intelligent person, if enough people start talking, the seeds of doubt can be planted.

Because of my surroundings and the things I was seeing, I got into my own head. What if I get a blood clot? What if it’s too early to know the effects? What if I die?

My health anxiety amplified every concern I had, so I put it off for a short while, until I changed my mind.

What made you go for it in the end?

Both fear and the facts. The fear part was born out of the rise of the new delta variant.

Now more likely to affect people my age, I figured it would be better to be as protected as possible, just in case.

Regarding the facts, I already knew them. My worries didn’t mean I didn’t want the vaccine, I was just scared to have it.

Once I gave myself time to think and spoke to the right people, I pushed my fear aside and went for it.

Was booking it difficult?

Not at all! It was actually super easy, so there’s really no excuse regarding that part of the process.

It’s literally a 2 minute thing online where they ask for your name, postcode, date of birth and NHS number (if you have it).

If you don’t have that, if memory serves you can name your GP and it’ll still try and pull your record through.

You can get declined if the info doesn’t match up, but you’re all smart so should at least know your postcode and GP.

From there you literally just need to select an appointment and you are done. The only thing quicker than that process was the vaccination itself, but we’ll get to that.

How did you feel the day of?

I was nervous. One thing I failed to mention above was my fear of needles. Really don’t like them, especially when you have seen it first.

I’d actually booked a whole day off work, so that I could be prepared beforehand, calm down afterwards and if necessary, spend a day in bed.

I’m very grateful for the support given by a particular friend who reassured me with good old fashioned scientific proof. Can’t argue with that.

What is a vaccination centre like?

Literally a pop-up shop. I was booked in at a haunted pharmacy down the road.

It was a dude with a clipboard (who I found difficult to converse with), a few chairs in a car park, with a door open leading to a room where the vaccination would happen.

There was also a super cute cat walking around but he didn’t want to come near the people. I think he was too busy watching a ghost.

Did your vaccination go well?

5 or 6 people hadn’t turned up, so although I was 15 minutes early, I was seen pretty much immediately. A nurse sat me down on a chair.

I was asked my date of birth and then told I was having the Pfizer vaccine. I admitted I was terrified, but by the time I’d turned to gauge a response, she’d already done it.

I didn’t even feel it, it was so small. The placement for it was just below my left shoulder, which seemed odd but I didn’t question it.

After what was probably around 45 seconds in a chair, I was sent into the room next door and told to sit on the available chair. Here I was given my covid card and an information booklet.

Did anything happen afterwards?

Not to me, I was fine. I don’t feel like I was in the full 15 minutes, but I was sat there feeling okay personally. I feel it would be a disservice if I didn’t mention one thing.

There was one guy who seemed to faint and was unresponsive for like a second. The nurses were great and responded super quickly.

The guy woke up, sat down, had a fan on him and a glucose drink. In less than a minute he was okay.

It seems he was too hot, a potential side effect I think, though he also admitted to being malnourished that morning, so it could’ve been anything.

How did you feel later on and the next day?

Well my arm had a dull sensation. I wouldn’t say a full ache, nor would I say a pain.

The way I’ve described it so far is that feeling after the shock of banging your knee on a dinner table where you feel like a bruise might be coming on but it’s really not that bad at all.

My arm did go stiff and feel heavy sporadically, and I did have very minor tingles in my fingers for like 10 minutes. Other than that, nothing else really happened.

The key thing to remember is that you need to keep moving it. None of this “ah it hurts” and keeping it still. The more it moves, the less it hurts.

Now for the big question to close us out…

Should I get the vaccine?

Yes. It doesn’t hurt, the needle is tiny, the side effects are minimal, if any at all. It protects you, your friends, your family, everyone, from COVID-19.

At the very least, out of respect for those who we have lost, like my Grandad and the loved ones that I know some of my readers will have lost, we must do it.

If we don’t and we choose to ignore it, to catch it ourselves and suffer such a date; what did they die for?

We owe it to them to learn and protect ourselves from what they could not fight.

I’m not going to give you my opinions on what is or isn’t true, nor will I try to present facts. That’s not for me to say (or possibly get wrong).

Instead, I have a few suggestions. Go into a pharmacy and speak to someone there. Use the NHS app or website to read more. Avoid news sites at all costs.

Do your own research and see for yourself why you should or shouldn’t get this vaccine (you should by the way).

Do NOT trust anyone you know, on the TV or online who is telling you to believe something else, that is dangerous.

Please do stay safe, get vaccinated (pretty please) and look forward to the end of the pandemic. The light at the end of the tunnel is visible and we’re getting closer by the day.

Post by Michael Sallabank