Vaccinations – what they don’t necessarily tell youby
To date, there has been a lot of publicity about the vaccination programme – but few articles explaining the full consequences from the sharp end. After receiving his first coronavirus jab, Philip Fisher shares some tips about making the most of the experience.
The likelihood is that you and all of your staff will be up for coronavirus vaccinations at some point in the next few months, if you haven’t got there already.
As has been discussed across the mass media, relatively small numbers of individuals are wary enough of the perceived consequences to miss out on the opportunity. On the other hand, the vast majority of the population and, one can reasonably assume, most accountants are desperate to get their shots at the earliest opportunity.
This accountant struck lucky over a week ago despite being underage. Therefore, as a result, I should now be protected to a reasonable degree against the ravages of Covid-19. I thought it might be helpful to share a few hints about the ways in which they can optimise their own situation and also be aware of some unpublicised side-effects.
From discussions with friends, it seems that there are a number of different methodologies being used, which seems odd. In my case, the local GP’s practice sent over a text late one Friday offering the opportunity to book a vaccination at a local hub about a mile away. The earliest slot was 9.30 on the following Sunday morning i.e. about 36 hours later.
Others have received their invitations in the post and there are apparently also a number of websites that can be used – if you qualify.
Ironically, the main NHS website bounced me on a flagrant example of age discrimination only a few hours before the text invitation arrived. Apparently, other sites give you a choice of date and venue for a vaccination.
Frighteningly early on a very chilly Sunday morning, I took a brisk walk down to the centre, which was in one of those brutalist concrete nightmares in the middle of a high-rise housing estate.
Arriving at 9.20, the queue looked short but in fact zigzagged up the side of the very draughty building, meaning that one of the possible side-effects of coronavirus vaccination at that location could be pneumonia. Indeed, at Lord’s Cricket Ground a mile up the road, a 95-year-old friend was left waiting out in the open, cold, wet day for 40 minutes so play safe and put on the long johns.
Once inside, the operation was impressively slick, as you are passed through a series of four or five individuals to a lady who was probably a nurse and definitely eager to dispense the vaccine.
She said that there might be a little prick but the process was practically painless. As a reward, you leave with a card confirming that, in my case, the vaccine used was AstraZeneca but without a date for the second jab. This differs from centre to centre, as several friends have got firm dates 11 or 12 weeks away.
By late afternoon on Sunday, there appeared to be no side-effects – but this was illusory.
Later that evening
At the end of a Zoom call at about 8.30 that evening, I was literally shivering and shaking with a high temperature and headache.
The following day, I exhibited all of the standard symptoms of flu and basically had to write the day off.
For the next 48-hours, I continued to feel a little under the weather but was fit to work, if not at full tilt. In addition to the kind of tiredness you normally experience after a 24-hour bout of flu, my left arm was a little sore for a few days.
One of my most interesting discoveries was that on a quick straw poll of about a dozen recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine, two-thirds either suffered flu-like symptoms, migraine grade headaches or a combination of the two. Typically, these lasted between one and three days.
In summary, readers might wish to take away the following thoughts:
- Taking the coronavirus vaccine is almost certainly a good thing that could save your life and those of loved ones.
- Expect to queue and dress up warmly.
- Plan for at least one day during which you may be unfit for work and, if you are one of the unlucky ones, two or three.
- Bear this in mind when colleagues our having their jabs, since they may not be much use to you for a day or two after.
- Look forward to round two at an unspecified date three months into the future.
- Should you feel safer? The answer is a seriously qualified “yes”. Personally, before getting the second jab I still wouldn’t want to travel on public transport in the rush-hour or attend any large-scale indoor events, even with limited capacity.
The good news is that this is a step in the direction of normal life and that feels long overdue.