I fall into two of the current categories for getting the vaccination: my BMI is just over 40, so I'm part of the "underlying health conditions" group; and I'm an unpaid carer for my partner.
My partner is clinically extremely vulnerable and was vaccinated yesterday, having booked on Saturday. Because she's vulnerable, we were eager to get mine booked in as soon as possible too. I started checking every day if I could book through the NHS COVID vaccine booking system and on Monday night, it let me book!
I'm staying at my partners house in Huddersfield this week in case she gets poorly from the vaccine side effects, so I booked myself to get vaccinated at the John Smith's Stadium in Huddersfield.
As I got close to the stadium, there were loads of temporary signs making sure people knew where the vaccine center was. Headed towards the car park and a firefighter let me know where to park and where the entrance to the vaccine center was.
I walked down to the entrance gate where someone guided me to the queue to get inside. While I was in the queue, someone took my booking reference and tapped it into a tablet.
After queueing for about 10 minutes, I was told to go into one of the booths where there were 2 people, one sat at a computer and one getting the vaccination ready. I sat down, was asked a few questions about things like allergies, my doctor's surgery and how I got to the vaccination, and then was given the injection. The syringe was more full than the flu jab, which meant that it took a few seconds to complete.
They gave me an information pack with stuff about the side effects of the vaccine, a card with the date and vaccine type that I had (Oxford/Astrazenica), and I asked for a sticker.
It's been about an hour and a half since I had the vaccine, and so far the only side effect I've experienced is a sore arm.
Throughout the process, the staff and volunteers were fantastic: they were well organised, professional, and reassuring. The whole thing was run so smoothly and the whole operation is a testament of our public services in spite of the complete mismanagement of the entire COVID pandemic by the Tory government. I'm so relieved to have had the first dose of my vaccine, and to have my 2nd dose booked for May.
If you're eligible, please go get vaccinated. If you're unsure if you're currently eligible, check the NHS COVID vaccine booking system.