Yesterday I had my second vaccination dose against the SARS-CoV-2 virus – or what is more commonly known as Covid-19. The vaccination itself was a pleasant enough experience – our local vaccination centre is in a sports facility – and it only took half an hour, including the fifteen minute wait. I went home and back to work with only a sore arm and a sticker as mementoes of my visit.
Today is a different matter. After I had my first vaccine shot, I experienced side effects: headache, shivering and lethargy; so, I suspected that I was going to feel somewhat the same after this one. And, less than twenty-four hours on from my appointment yesterday, I can report that I am indeed suffering from the post-vaccination blurgh, and it feels like it is settling in for the weekend.
Looking on the bright side, I am more than happy to have been vaccinated. In fact, I’ve been actively looking forward to getting both shots. There are a number of personal benefits. For a start, there is the protection that being vaccinated gives me against infection – and against passing on the infection to others. Yes, I will still have to wear masks in public places for a while (Maybe until next year. Who knows?), but I feel that I can now go places and see people. While my holiday to Japan that I booked in 2019 (Ancient history, that!) may not take place this year, I can at least go back to Ireland and visit my family there – family who I have not seen in eighteen months.
Then there is the benefit to others. Vaccination has been successful in suppressing diseases that were once considered deadly. I’m old enough to have been vaccinated against whooping cough, diphtheria, measles, mumps, rubella, tuberculosis, polio … In fact, I have quite a list of vaccines in my medical records. All of these diseases were common when I was born (I’m 52 this year – work it out for yourself.). Indeed, the year after I was born, a measles epidemic was killing children in Belfast, and two years after that I came through pertussis unscathed. My mother is proud of the scar from her smallpox vaccination, and I can still show you my tuberculosis jab. They’re the reasons why younger people don’t have to worry about these diseases any more.
Currently something like 75% of adults in the UK have received at least one course of vaccine, with just under 50% having received both. So, the likelihood is that anyone reading this will have been vaccinated. However, for those of you who are still waiting or who are feeling some concern – don’t worry. When it comes to your turn, go and get vaccinated. And wear your sticker with pride. You’ve done your bit to make the world a little bit safer.
OMP Admin Note: John Nedwill is a writer, OMP Network member, and a regular #OneMillionProject Blogger. His work can be found on Wattpad.com and in the One Million Project’s Short Story Anthologies published in February 2018.
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