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Liz Donaldson is Dementia Care Manager at our Home in Surbiton. Having taken both doses of the vaccine, she explains why she hopes it means there won’t be a repeat of the situation at the Home during the first lockdown, when the virus struck residents and staff.

There was no apprehension or nerves before I took the vaccine. I was really excited, this was a huge thing. I had it on the second or third day of the national rollout, so really I was one of the first people in the world to have it done, and I felt really proud.

 

The needle must be tiny because the jab didn’t hurt at all. My arm was a little bit tender that day, but that was it, and that was the only side effect I experienced. It felt normal the next day. I had no side effects at all from the second vaccine.

 

There’s a lot of myths and nonsense on social media about the vaccine, but I don’t believe it. I believe this is the most effective way we have of returning to normality. It’s been a long year, and this has gone on far longer than we expected. Right now with the new variant there’s no sign of it slowing down, but hopefully the vaccine will change things.

 

We did lose residents to Covid during the spring, which was devastating. And staff fell ill too, some seriously. This disease devastates lives and we’ve seen that first hand. Our residents are vulnerable – they’re elderly and weak – and it’s hard to keep the virus out of the Home. We don’t want it coming back, and taking the vaccine is a big step in helping us in our fight to keep it out.

 

I’ve spoken to my three grown-up children about this, and they’ve said they’re planning to have the vaccine too, which I’m delighted about. I’d encourage all my family and loved ones to take it. A lot of people including myself have had personal losses, and this can help stop it.

 

But even though I’ll feel I’m protected, I won’t be reckless. Because you can still carry the virus on your person, on your hands and spread it through touch-to-touch contact. But it will give me peace of mind knowing that I have had the second vaccine, and that I’m protected.