I went to Stratford Hospital this afternoon to receive my first dose of CV-19 vaccine. The clinic was amazingly efficient: within five minutes of walking through the door I’d been registered and was in a cubicle with a doctor. The injection was fast and completely painless, and almost before I’d drawn breath I was back out in the hospital café, where they ask you to sit for fifteen minutes before leaving, so they know you’re not having an allergic reaction. It was only at this point that the enormity of what had just happened suddenly hit me, and I had a little silent weep behind my mask.
R had driven me into Stratford, and when I rejoined him we walked along the river into town, and bought takeaway coffees and cookies from a café on the High Street. On the way back to the car I had some luck getting photos of a pied wagtail, but though I’m pretty pleased with those, this rather serene image is a better match for my mood tonight.
I was given the Pfizer vaccine, so it will be interesting over the next few days to compare notes with R, who received the Oxford/AZ jab. The reason for the difference, according to my doctor today, is that the Pfizer vaccine can’t be moved around and is therefore being used at the hospital clinic, whereas the AZ one is easier to store and can be distributed to local GP surgeries, which is where R was vaccinated on Friday.
I feel enormously lucky, and very grateful – to the scientists who worked so hard and so fast to develop a vaccine, and to the NHS which is doing such a superb job of rolling out this massive vaccination programme. A few weeks ago the suggestion that every adult in the country might be given both doses of the vaccine by September would have seemed fanciful, but having seen the programme in operation today, I think it’s entirely possible that the NHS could achieve it.