Getting the jab - Andrew's story
This is part of a series of personal vaccination case studies from Walsall for All on the COVID-19 Vaccination programme in Walsall. It explores the feelings of those who live and work in the borough on what it means to them to have the vaccine.
In this article, we feature Andrew (aged 51), who works as a Customer Support Manager for a (computer) Software House and is a resident from Walsall. He shares his experience of overcoming his fear of needles to be vaccinated to protect himself, his family and friends and Walsall.
Why did you choose to get the COVID-19 vaccination?
“This is the one occasion when I really felt that the vaccine was not just for me but also for my family, friends and the community.
“I know that the vaccine goes a long way to prevent serious illness and that’s a huge positive, but it’s also a major consideration. Should I be unfortunate enough to catch COVID-19 my ability to pass it on is also reduced so I can help to protect family members, friends and neighbours.”
Have you had your first dose, or both doses now?
“I’ve had both doses, the first in March and the second in June. Both were given at Vaccination Centre based within The Saddlers Shopping Centre, in Walsall.”
Were there any fears or obstacles that you overcame?
“For as long as I can remember injections of any kind have been an issue. I don’t like needles. I wouldn’t even consider travelling to a place where you need to be vaccinated before visiting.
“As someone who is scared, even petrified of injections it was always going to be a big challenge mentally. I can’t even watch a vaccination on television. Unless my back was firmly against a wall and I had no other option, then I would avoid anything that involved a needle.
What was the overall experience like?
“We had a fantastic experience!
“On my first visit I really was fearing the worst, my mom came along with me in case I was in such a state that I couldn’t drive home.
“Everyone was understanding and took my fear seriously. We went to a screened-off area, and I hardly felt a thing. As I have a few allergies I had to wait for 15 minutes afterwards just to be observed and then we were free to go about our day and I was absolutely fine to drive home.
“The following day I had some cold-like symptoms, so I had a quiet day, but there was no bruising to my arm, and it was hard to spot where the needle had been.
“For my second jab, I took my friend with me, once again the nurse and the experience was simply fantastic. Despite the fact I was sitting there waiting for the needle I hardly felt anything. My experience on the day after the second dose was totally different to the first, apart from a slight ache in my arm there were no side effects.”
What would you say to encourage others who are yet to have the COVID-19 vaccination?
“With COVID-19 we are all in it together, and by getting vaccinated we are not just looking after ourselves but also looking after each other
“If you have elderly or older parents, loved ones or those you interact with, it’s for you and them.
“If you are younger and you were to catch Covid-19 it is not just the inconvenience to you, but also the risk that you could pass it on to those around you.
“No matter how mentally challenging for some a vaccination is, I would imagine that it would be many-many times more challenging if you were to pass it on to an older or elderly person and the possible consequences.
“Two short visits to the vaccination centre gives you hope and confidence to face the future.”