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Getting your first Covid-19 jab: be prepared for Q&A or two

On Saturday night at a function in Queen Street, Campbelltown, the conversation turned to Covid and the vaccination program.

Mayor George Brticevic, who was at our table, revealed that as a police officer a few days earlier he had received his first jab, the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine.

He said it felt really cold for a few moments after he got the jab but he has been fine since.

As someone who had an appointment to get his first jab three days later, my nervousness level went up a bit after that conversation.

The reason I was eligible for Phase 1B of the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout was that almost 10 years ago I had open heart surgery to remove and replace four blocked arteries.

And there is no shame in admitting that like many people I was as nervous about any vaccine side effects as I have been about getting Covid-19.

But I soon forgot all about it and this morning headed down to the respiratory Clinic in 251 Queen Street, Campbelltown for my 10am appointment with the needle.

Having made the appointment online, I had filled in all the forms and expected to go straight to the vaccination room and get that needle in my arm.

So I was a bit surprised that the young woman at reception asked me to confirm the details I had already provided online.

She said it was something they had to do, so I went with the flow and was eventually walked inside and asked to take a chair outside a vaccination room.

Once I was called in, about 15 minutes later, I walked into a room occupied by a nurse sitting in front of a computer screen, and a doctor who was standing more or less behind her.

By this time I was as nervous as hell, knowing the needle would be in my arm any minute, so I was further surprised and a little confused when the nurse went through the same routine as reception.

As politely as I could I asked the nurse if she did not already have this information on the computer.

From my point of view, I just wanted to get the thing over and done with so I could get out of there.

That’s when the doctor intervened, demanding to know if I wanted to receive the vaccine.

In a stressed voice he told me that people lie when filling in forms online and that was why they had to ask them again in person.

Fair point, I responded, but why twice?

In response, he asked again: do you want to get the vaccine or not?

Of course, I answered, and at this point he took off, and I never saw him again.

The nurse asked me if I wanted the jab on my left or right arm, and I said, whichever you think it’s best.

The left, she suggested, so before I knew it the needle had done its work.

Afterwards the nurse gave me an information sheet that included an appointment for the second shot.

As part of the jab process you had to sit at the reception area for 15 minutes before you could leave the premises, just in case, I guess.

When my time was up I went to reception and notified them that I was leaving.

They asked if I was feeling OK and I said yes.

And that was that.

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