Tuesday, July 27, 2021

First jab done

Today I went and had my first jab of the Covid-19 vaccine. It felt like I’d been waiting forever, but in the end it all happened quickly. I’m very happy about it all.

The plan had been to have everyone 65+, along with those (like me) with certain pre-existing health conditions, get their jabs in July. I avoided getting an annual flu jab because, at the time, advice was that we’d have to wait 31 days before getting the Covid jab, and I didn’t want to do anything to jeopardise or delay that.

Things didn’t go as quickly as I’d planned. I don’t know what the problem was, whether it was some sort of disorganisation at the Waikato District Health Board (my local health authority), or whether it was the lingering problems caused by the ransomware attack, but whatever the cause, as the month dragged on it was looking unlikely I’d get my jab in July.

However, this past Friday, July 23, the Ministry of Health announced that from that day, people in Group 3 (like me) who hadn’t received an invitation to book a vaccine (again, like me) could ring a new 0800 number to book an appointment. I did that on Friday.

I was very, very impressed with the phone booking service: My call was answered pretty quickly, and the friendly and helpful person got me all set up in only a few minutes. It turned out that I could have had an appointment the next day, Sunday, but I had a family birthday lunch to go to that day. So, my appointment was two days later—today—which was such a long time to wait… My appointment for the second jab is on August 17, exactly three weeks later, which is the Ministry of Health’s preferred target timeframe.

The vaccination centre I was going to was located in Te Awa, the mall at The Base shopping centre, which is about a 15 minute drive from my house. Since I wasn’t completely sure where, precisely, the location was in the mall, I was there early.

I walked into the mall (after scanning the QR code with the Covid Tracer App, of course), and worked out quickly it was where I thought it was: Upstairs on the second level, one of the few things on that level (a topic for another day).

I walked into the centre (after scanning the QR code with my Covid Tracer App, of course), and a friendly helpful lady gave me a clipboard, pen, and a number (22), along with an information sheet and a consent form I needed to fill out. The waiting area was packed—there were a few seats, and there was clearly pretty quick turnover, and that really impressed me.

It didn’t take me long to fill out the paperwork, so I had time to calm down and just relax a bit. Around fifteen minutes after I arrived, my number was called and I was summoned to go to the consent area. The friendly, helpful lady took my information and gave me the little car where the vaccinator would record the relevant details of my jab.

Next, I was ushered into another crowded waiting area where people were being called up by name. It was roughly 35 minutes before I was ushered in for my jab, and since there were at least 10 vaccinators that I know of, that’s a pretty good indicator of how many people were there waiting.

The friendly, helpful vaccinator explained everything to me, including possible reactions/side effects, and gave me advice on what to do if I had any (so far, I haven’t), and also advice like to drink lots of water afterward, and to actually use the arm I got the jab in. I had her jab the arm that I don’t sleep on very much, following the advice a friend gave me, and the vaccinator thought that was a great idea. She gave me my jab, and after about five minutes total, I was away—to the next waiting area.

I gave my paperwork to the friendly, helpful guy there, who pointed out the water, and told me the nurse would let me know when I could leave after about 20 minutes, which was to make sure I didn’t have a severe reaction. I got myself a cup of water and sat down to post on Facebook that I’d had my first jab. After my 20 minutes was up, they called out my name, and I left.

I took my selfie (photo up top), and heard the rain absolutely hosing down on the roof. Although I’d brought an umbrella in case that happened, it sounded especially fierce, so I went to a department store in the mall to pick up a couple things I needed, then decided to have an early dinner in the foodcourt.

When I left, the sun was back out—and the temperature had dropped five degrees, according to my watch. I drove directly home and got back here around 5pm.

Three weeks from today, I’ll be fully vaccinated. And very, very happy about it.

Update 29 July – Jab aftermath: I had no reaction Tuesday night, but did for awhile Wednesday.

Tuesday night, I had nothing, and then had a good night’s sleep (though longer than usual). I felt fine when I got up Wednesday morning.

Around midday-ish Wednesday, I started to feel a bit yucky, and also got a bit of a headache, so I took parecetomol (as directed by the nurse yesterday). That helped, but I started to feel yuckier still, and when I started to get scratchy with the dogs, I decided to go lay down. I dozed a bit, and definitely felt better when I got up again.

But I also felt really tired, which is funny because when they said tiredness was a possible reaction, I thought to myself, “how would I know?”, what with my chronic tiredness from medication. Turns out, I couldn’t miss it.

Still, 24 hours-ish after the jab, the reactions started to diminish, and by Wednesday evening I felt normal, and that continued today. As "reactions" go, what I had is hardly worth the name.


Roger Owen Green said...

Oh, NO! Soon, you'll be growing a second head, and extra toes and fingers.

I have someone of my acquaintance who is IM me with all the reasons the mainstream science is fake. "Here is the type of news you should watch not the boob tube and it’s disinformation fear campaign...it’s there for you to look up each day...try it for a chafe instead of TVs constant brainwashing."

Arthur Schenck said...

Sigh. I don’t know anyone with such loony ideas, fortunately.