Surbiton Nurse Aylona Dael will soon receive her second Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine. Here she explains how her Covid vaccine fears were allayed, why it’s important for staff in the Home to get the jab, and the impact it will have on her nearest and dearest.
When Home Manager Helena sent an email explaining how we could get the Covid vaccine, I booked an appointment, despite having some fears, and went to the hospital for my first jab.
It wasn’t really that busy when I arrived. There was someone there checking your details and asking if you had any allergies, if you were pregnant, if you were on medication. I was then sent to the vaccination point area, where a nurse explained to me what the vaccines are for. Then a doctor came and again asked if I had any allergies, and went over other information I’d already provided. She also asked if I wanted any more information.
I had been scared before going for the vaccine because I had seen in the news that a few NHS staff had suffered side effects. But I found it really reassuring having doctors and nurses there. I spoke to the doctor about my concerns and she explained to me if you don’t have allergic reactions, if you’re a healthy person, you won’t be having these side effects. I was OK then, I was put at ease and confident everything would be alright. And it was!
I had the injection in my upper arm. It wasn’t painful at all. Then you wait for 15 minutes to check if you have any reactions. I had none so I went home. There was some tenderness in my arm that day, it felt a bit achy. But it was no different from any other vaccination I’ve had, and the next day everything was normal again.
I live with my 87-year-old mother-in-law. She was scared about having the vaccine too. But when I told her there were no side effects, she said she would have it as well. It’s such a relief, because she has not been out in such a long time. We avoid spending time together at home because of my job. I really want her to have the vaccination so I don’t have to worry about spreading the virus to her.
We all know that Covid can have serious and life-threatening complications. We unfortunately had that experience during the first lockdown in the Home. You don’t know how it’s going to affect you. If staff get sick you can spread disease to residents, your family, co-workers and friends. The vaccine will give immunity and that is really important. I think the combination of the vaccine, social distancing and masks will be the best protection from the virus, especially in the Home, where we care for such vulnerable people.
I’m looking forward to having the second vaccination and developing the antibodies. I’ll still be careful, because I can still pass Covid on even if I’m vaccinated, but it’s been such a horrible year, and I want this finished.