As I’m about to get my second dose of the vaccine, I think it’s important to share my experience so far.
Why is the UK Defence Journal publishing this? Good question.
One of the biggest threats this country faces is disinformation on COVID19 and the vaccine for the disease. Every day there are thousands of tweets spreading scare stories about the vaccine that otherwise intelligent people take as gospel. Additionally, as many of you know, I work in the NHS so this is an important topic for me personally as I see first hand the damage done by the spread of the virus and the panic caused by the misinformation surrounding it.
The misinformation relating to the virus is so severe now that Twitter is placing a warning on Tweets that advance unsubstantiated rumours, disputed claims, as well as incomplete or out-of-context information about vaccines.
“We will enforce this policy in close consultation with local, national and global public health authorities around the world, and will strive to be iterative and transparent in our approach,” the company said in a statement.
The policy will include false claims that suggest immunisations and vaccines are used to intentionally cause harm to or control populations and statements about vaccines that invoke a deliberate conspiracy.
“False claims which have been widely debunked about the adverse impacts or effects of receiving vaccinations or false claims that COVID-19 is not real or not serious, and therefore that vaccinations are unnecessary”, said the tech firm.
The better protected the public are against this disinformation then the better off the UK is. It’s that simple.
It is incredibly important to note that, despite the misinformation, the vaccines approved for use in the UK have met strict standards of safety, quality and effectiveness set out by the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
The COVID-19 vaccine was only made available to the public after meeting strict safety and effectiveness criteria. That cannot be stressed enough. Any vaccine that is approved must go through all the clinical trials and safety checks all other licensed medicines go through.
So far, thousands of people have been given a COVID-19 vaccine and reports of serious side effects, such as allergic reactions, have been very, very rare as with any vaccine.
No long-term complications have been reported.
What should be expected when going for the vaccine?
If you’re wondering what to expect when going for your vaccine, your experience will of course differ slightly but I’ll explain what happened to me in order to try and allay any anxiety over the process.
I received an email in advance informing me of my appointment time and all the other details I needed to know to be in and out of there as quickly as possible. I was heading to Glasgow’s ‘Nightingale hospital’, the NHS Louisa Jordan. An exhibition hall turned temporary hospital.
When I got there, I was asked a series of questions about how I was feeling on the day and then asked to queue up inside. Once inside I was asked if I had any symptoms etc. I then proceeded into a massive hall.
I queued up and was taken to a cubicle, asked some more questions by a friendly nurse to make sure it was safe for me to get the vaccine. I was then jabbed and it was all over in a few minutes.
I was advised to stay within the clinical area for 10 minutes just to make sure I was okay after the jag, a routine measure in a vaccination clinic. I left after the 10 minutes, I felt perfectly fine.
I was mostly relieved it was over with.
I then headed for the train home. If you’re anxious about going and getting the vaccine then I hope that this has helped even in a small way.
I urge anyone who is able to get the vaccine to do so as soon as they are offered it. Not only will this allow life to return to normal sooner rather than later, it will ease the massive pressure on the NHS its staff. I received my first dose back in December and I’m eagerly awaiting my second in the coming weeks. Ignore the misinformation, speak to a medical professional if you have concerns.