It was a slightly surreal experience, leaving the house just after midnight to go for a vaccination. However, despite my misgivings about the lack of clarity in the time of the appointment, we were there for 00.20 and left at 01.00. It would have been quicker but there was, according to Julia, a lot of duplication of information (having filled in a form on-line you have to fill another one in when you get there and then answer the same questions again to a real person). It’s all very bureaucratic and time consuming, which is typical of the NHS.
The vaccination centre is in a building at the Forest Recreation Ground Park and Ride. I would post photos but when I turned my camera on I found I’d left the card in the computer after downloading the fish pie photos.
After the vaccination (which was administered by military personnel) she had to wait fifteen minutes to be released – having to give her details again before they finally let her out.
It seems that they were able to start vaccination of front line staff earlier than planned because they had an unexpected supply of vaccine. The original date had been the second week in February.
It was noticeable, from the increase in pinging on Julia’s phone this afternoon, that something was happening. She checked and found that the code had been released to allow front-line staff to book vaccination slots. The early adopters seem to be all the cowardly stay-at-home types who have been refusing to come into work at Mencap. They are keen to take the wages, but not quite so keen to actually go to work and help the people they are supposedly there to support. However, show them a vaccine code and they are on it like a pack of dogs. Because they stay at home they are actually at no more risk than I am, but they have all leapt in to claim their priority vaccination.
Two of the Mencap workers have already been vaccinated – one because they are also employed by the NHS and another because they exploited a loophole (now closed). I heard last week that two twenty-somethings had been given a vaccination because a friend rang to tell them there was some left-over vaccine at a local centre. I mention them here only as an example of how the vaccine is not been administered uniformly, as they did nothing wrong.
It is now a case of waiting to see if I get my first dose before Julia gets her second.
While I was waiting I noticed a number of cars with middle-aged men in them waiting for their womenfolk to return. It seems that we stick to certain stereotypes in the UK, even in the 21st century; the women work in the caring professions and the men do the driving.
I thought I’d add that so a 22nd Century PhD student of Pandemic Britain might one day unearth my blog and find a nugget of knowledge.