Well, I’ve had my vaccine. Hurrah! As usual the surgery messed up. A few weeks ago, realising that they might phone me to try to sort the vaccine out, I thought ‘Gosh, I rarely answer the home phone – better make sure they use my mobile’ so I filled in their online form to update my contact details and say, ‘Please only use the mobile’. Job done.
Well … maybe not. I was ordering my scrip a little while after that and I wanted to check my blood results, so I went onto my patient record, and there was a message from two weeks earlier saying, ‘Tried to telephone patient, no response.’ Curious, I thought, so I emailed the reception and said, ‘I see you were apparently trying to contact me two weeks ago. Can you tell me why?’ ‘Oh yes, it was for your COVID-19 vaccination.’ ‘And what number did you use?’ Well I’m sure you can guess the rest. They claimed to have ‘no record’ of me asking them to change the number, until I pointed to their own online form, where the information was already clearly filled in.
Anyway, the important thing is that she then organised a vaccine in double-quick time – in fact this was a Tuesday a couple of weeks ago, and I had the vaccine on the Thursday! It was the Pfizer vaccine, which I was pleased about as, purely anecdotally from people I know, most people who’ve had unpleasant side effects had had the AstraZeneca one. This is totally unscientific of me – if you look at the trial results the side effects reported were much the same percentage wise across Pfizer and AstraZeneca.
The organisation at the centre where they were doing the vaccinations was FANTASTIC! (Needless to say, it wasn’t my local surgery!) They had scores of volunteers around to marshal people to the right places etc. and the vaccination itself was done quickly and efficiently, but without making you feel like you were a cow being herded into a pen, jabbed and thrown out again. In fact you had to wait 15 minutes after the job, and there was a well-organised and quite pleasant waiting room with plenty of volunteers and social distanced chairs, and clocks all round the walls so you could easily time yourself.
My side effects have been almost nil – a bit of pain and swelling at the injection site – less than with the flu jab. Then after a few days that had completely gone. Curiously it came back about a week later and was quite tender and a bit swollen again … and now it’s just tender if I rub it … so I don’t. 🙂
I have made a note in the diary for 10 weeks after the first injection date so if I’ve heard nothing about a second vaccination I can contact the surgery because, oddly enough, I don’t entirely trust them to call me, on the right number, at the right time, and arrange the second one.