We’d had a phone call the night before from someone at our medical practice asking us if we wanted to be vaccinated. In all honesty I thought it might be a hoax as we weren’t expecting to get a call so soon. We know a number of people older than us who still haven’t had the vaccine so we were somewhat sceptical.
We were fortunate because, as it was being done at our local practice, we were able to walk there. We were glad we did because there was a long line up of cars waiting to get in. Our appointment was for 6.20pm and we arrived about half an hour early. Just as well because there was a long queue.
We joined a long socially distanced line up of masked people. Someone came along, took one’s details and handed out a form to be completed. Not easy in semi darkness but we managed. When I attempted to return the pen I was told to keep it. Our temperatures were taken before we went inside the building.
The large reception area inside had been divided up into cubicles where people were being given the vaccine. OH was ushered into one of these while I was told to enter one of the practice rooms. I rolled up my sleeve and the volunteer sang out – “one, two, three” – before giving me the jab.
There was almost a party atmosphere. Everyone was smiling, kindly and friendly. All these OAPs, or seniors as we prefer to be called, were sitting in the corridor, all masked and distanced from one another. Volunteers wandered up and down checking that we were OK and spraying vacated seats with antiseptic. OH came over with one of our favourite GPs who had long retired but had returned to give jabs. He told us he had done over 100 that day. We reckoned that there were at least ten people there giving innoculations so that would be 1000 over 70s getting their vaccine that day.
We were also given a little card. It had no stars or smiley faces but it named the vaccine we had been given – Pfizer – and the date. Something to stick on our passports for the future.
That was over 24 hours ago. We have had no side effects, other than our arms feeling a little tender at the site of the jab. The only downside is that we shouldn’t drink alcohol for two weeks as that would reduce our immunity. A small price to pay.
One can criticise this government for many things but at least they had the foresight to order ample quantities of vaccine. We are well ahead of our European neighbours and most other countries of the world in rolling out the vaccination programme. So, in one thing at least, Britain has got something right.
We all need to be patient and play by the rules. But there is light – and real hope – at the end of the tunnel.
© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems