With the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine across the country, I wanted to help play my part. So, I recently volunteered at a local GP surgery which were hosting the COVID-19 vaccinations, mostly for the over 70s/80s and clinically vulnerable.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Programme in England has currently authorised the Pfizer/ BioNTech vaccine, the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca vaccine and just recently approved the Moderna vaccine. On this particular day, the AstraZeneca vaccine was on offer.
My role was to marshal and whilst I didn’t do anything ground-breaking, I felt like I was part of a team, helping to make sure the day ran smoothly. I greeted and then guided the patients as to where they should wait for their vaccine.
I believe that the patients coming in for their vaccines appreciated seeing some human life. It was moving to remember that for some of these patients, this would be their first time outside in months. Seeing and talking to humans would be a big thing for them after so long home alone and isolated.
Hearing their stories whilst they waited and then watching the vaccinated walk out felt like a moment in history. These people were now partially protected from the disease, one step closer to normality.
The excellence of the nurses and doctors administrating the jabs and those behind the scenes who organised the proceedings of the day really deserve a mention too.
One team of vaccinators at our clinic were very efficient, finishing all of their allocated vaccine doses early, and the patients arriving for their vaccines didn’t have to wait long at all. As I would walk some to their rooms, the nurses would be ready and waiting. The elderly barely had a moment to take their jackets off and within 5 minutes the patient would be finished and ready to go. It really is ‘jab and go’.
Although the government is receiving some backlash for the roll out of the vaccine, from what I’ve witnessed, the volunteers and vaccinators giving up their time to bring about the biggest vaccination program in British history is exemplary.
As more mass vaccination clinics open, I encourage everyone to go by their local surgery or centre and enquire to volunteer or see if they need any help. Working together, we will slowly but surely get back to familiarity.
Header image credit: Express & Star