Thursday 8 December 2022

Cupping a booster at Pfizer 4 : 1 Moderna

Seeking jabs here and there

A few weeks ago, I received a message on my mobile phone that I was eligible for a further COVID-19 vaccination for the autumn, or a booster as one might call them. At first, I looked for the option of a walk-in clinic, but the walk-ins were quite more than a walk away, and none were in the centre of town.

When I took my first vaccination in February 2021 the vaccination centre was just under 2 kilometres away, it was where I returned to in May 2021 for the second shot, both the Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty vaccine. Later in the year, in November 2021, I got a booster which was the same, way beside the Manchester City Football Club in an array of temporary Portakabin structures and that was an Uber cab ride to and fro in the brisk winter cold.

Booted from a booster venue

I was alerted to a second booster from April this year and even though I was able to book an appointment, there wasn’t enough information provided, so I eventually found I was ineligible after a rather uncomfortable exchange with a doctor and medical supervisor at the vaccination venue nearby beside the public library at St Peter’s Square.

Whilst I was away in South Africa in July, I received a text message indicating my eligibility for a spring/summer COVID-19 vaccine which I scheduled for early August back at the venue where I was rejected a few months before. I received the Moderna Spikevax booster, then two weeks later I had the Monkeypox vaccine and in September, I took the annual flu jab.

Another booster in the arm

A few days ago, I decided to book an appointment rather than use the walk-in option and the nearby vaccination centre was on the list that I scheduled for this afternoon. I was met at the entrance by security and ushered into the vaccination centre where a doctor had a number of questions about how I was feeling about my allergies and the options for a vaccine.

Having answered her questions satisfactorily, I registered for the vaccine and even had to indicate what arm I wanted to be injected in. I then sat in a musical chairs queue with 2 people in front of me, none wearing facemasks even though we were advised to wear a face covering and I was wearing one.

Soon, it was my turn, for the cold we were all bulked up, I have to take my shirt off to reveal my upper arm as rolling up my long sleeve would not suffice. I was given the new modified Pfizer/BioNTech ‘bivalent’ Covid vaccine that targets both the Original strain of SARS-CoV-2 and the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 sub-variants.

Yes, the protests remain

The usual after-jab protocols of sitting in the waiting room for 15 minutes of supervision had been dispensed with and there was no need to hold off travel for 2 weeks to allow the effects of the new jab to take hold. If anything, no new side effects are expected apart from redness on black skin and maybe some feverishness or joint pain.

Stepping out and back around to the front of the central library beyond the tram rails was an array of posters and placards, everything about COVID-19 vaccines harming and killing children. I think there has been enough study and research on the effects of vaccines on children that the dosages have been adjusted to reduce or eliminate sensationalist propaganda and conspiracy theories. We however live in a free society with a right to protest whatever causes we espouse.

In my case, I just need to drink lots of water and take rest, the information about my vaccination should appear on the NHS app in 48 hours. I am grateful for the public health activities that have helped me avoid contracting the Coronavirus and as someone generally in the vulnerable cohort, I follow all the medical advice I am given about protection and prevention.

It is now Pfizer 4, Moderna 1, we might be on these boosters for a while for health and maybe more for corporate profits, that’s just the way things are.

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