03 July 2021

Second jab!

 I had calculated that I could expect my second jab in early July, assuming 12 weeks in between the first and second dose. And I was initially patiently waiting for getting contacted again to book that. But when the time approached, and people left and right were getting their second jabs but my phone just failed to ring, I got a bit impatient. And at some point I decided to just phone up. People who had been getting their second jab had informed me that the vaccination centre was not busy at all. And when I rang the NHS and gave my name, they figured what my query was about. "You're phoning about your second jab?" I was indeed. And they booked me in, for the very end of June. I was chuffed! And I wasn't afraid that shaving one week off the time in between the two jabs would really compromise their effectiveness. Anything over eight weeks seems to be fine!

When the day came I ended up in a bit of a hurry; I had in mind I was expected ten to ten, but when I checked it was ten to nine. Oh dear! I had intended to go on bicycle, but that plan was now  out  of the window. I jumped into the car.

I wasn't even out of the village yet when I realised I had forgotten my vaccination card. Another oh dear! But I didn't think it was vital so I kept driving. And when I got to the site, I noticed that indeed the parking lot was a lot less busy than the previous time. I parked up and walked to the entrance, where again I encountered my retired colleague. He gave me some shit for forgetting my card, but he would, wouldn't he. He said these academics needed technicians to look after them! And he said it in jest, but I knew his retirement had caused problems within the school; he had not been replaced, and there now were not enough technicians to do the work, which indeed includes looking after us academics, and our research and teaching…

I got in, and there barely were queues. In no time a young man called Callum stuck a syringe into my left shoulder. Sorted! All vaccinated! Now I only had to wait two weeks to be fully protected.

On the way out I took the opportunity to catch up a bit more with big Gwynne, and then I went home. My arm was already getting stiff! And I was wondering how I would feel the next day. A lot of people I know got knocked off their feet by the second dose of Pfizer. But I woke up and felt fine. Fully vaccinated, and no side-effects other than a stiff arm! This was all going well. And I am not sure if this will change my life any time soon; due to the Delta variant, travel is still not straightforward. But I am protected now and I feel better for it. My grandmother got tuberculosis before there was a vaccine; my mother got polio before there was a vaccine; and I have a cousin who got Covid before there was a vaccine. I do not resent breaking with this family tradition…

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