Wednesday 24 February 2021

This boy is on Pfizer

Preparations for the jab

I was a bit apprehensive about going for my vaccine just soon after work. I had prepared in more ways than one, gone online to find out about the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, what drug interactions it might have with my medication and if there were things I needed to be concerned about as someone in the vulnerable cohort. [SPS-NHS: Interactions information for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine]

Then, I changed from a long-sleeve vest and shirt to ones with short sleeves, took leaflets of my current medication, and my passport for identification. As I was unfamiliar with the location of the vaccination centre, I called an Uber cab and was on my way. The driver knew the centre, apparently, he had received his own first vaccination there last Thursday, he had nice things to say about the staff.

Formalities in questions

On arrival, I was ushered in after answering two questions about whether I had any symptoms or had tested positive with the Coronavirus in the past 28 days. Having answered in the negative to the questions, she squirted sanitiser in my hands and gestured towards the line for registration.

At the desk, I was asked for my name and time of appointment before she confirmed my date of birth and affixed an identity label to my COVID-19 immunisation card and then told to wait to be called up for my vaccination.

Soon, I was called to a vaccination pod where I was asked a series of questions about what medication I was on, if I suffered severe allergic reactions, or if I had taken any other vaccine in the last 7 days and whether I had participated in a Covid-19 vaccine trial before.

Only Pfizer will do

Satisfied with my responses, I asked if I was getting the Prizer/BioNTech vaccine and explained why I was particularly keen on it as a frequent traveller to South Africa. Volunteering my understanding that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine was said to be less than efficacious on the South African variant of the Covid-19 vaccine.

I believe they had been briefed to shutdown any misgivings about the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine, even an officiously looking lady came round and said the study was poorly set up and that I should stop reading conspiratorial ideas. Now, for South Africa to abandon that vaccine with their wealth of expertise, that is not something I would ignore. [BBC News: Covid: South Africa halts AstraZeneca vaccine rollout over new variant] [The New York Times: AstraZeneca’s Vaccine Does Not Work Well Against Virus Variant in South Africa]

Putting aside argument

There apparently is little confidence in the same vaccine across Europe. I am not here to wave a jingoistic flag for British technology when it comes to my health, I would not have taken the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine if it were offered today as I had the choice of getting it elsewhere. I did not have to face that battle. [iNews: Europe’s reluctance to use the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine slows roll-out, and isn’t backed up by data]

That put by the side, the nurse drew a dose of the vaccine from a vial and I was given the jab on my left arm, then advised to wait in an observation area for at least 15 minutes before leaving. The overseer of the observation area took my name and recorded it on a clipboard whilst adding 15 minutes to the time as when to ask if I was feeling fine before I could leave.

On exiting the centre, I decided to walk back and did feel a bit of tingling in my fingers. I stopped by the supermarket to get analgesics just in case. even jam doughnuts that I had shied away from for about two years and returned home to rest.

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