Yes I did get the “jab” (the Covid-19 Vaccine) even though I have an acute fear of needles.
I also have been staying away from large crowds of people as I am a caregiver for my parents who are in their late 80’s and do not want to bring anything to them. So walking into the Benson Centre with people around me was a lot different from working from my home office.This is another reason why I had the vaccine (the first dose) to not only protect myself, my parents but also anyone else in the community who I come into contact with.
Contrary to what many people are telling me about their booking experience, mine was quite straightforward via the computer.
My appointment was yesterday at 4:20pm and I was instructed to be at the Benson Centre 10 minutes before that time.
I was greeted at the door by the Security Guard who instructed me where to go to register. Another guy was there to make sure that everyone was social distanced and when I mentioned to him that I was nervous he proceeded to assure me that it was just like a mosquito bite and that I would be fine … and if I wasn’t I could come back at give him a piece of my mind!!!
So with Health Card in hand the girl at the desk checked me in and then I went down to the room where the vaccinations were taking place.
I must say that everything was well organized and I felt quite safe.
We were guided through and as I neared the sign telling me that I was entering the Vaccination area I do have to admit that I was getting nervous but of course there was no turning back at this point and I proceeded to the lady waving a red flag (as she was the next one free to register me).
Once again I showed my Health card and she did tell me that when I got to the nurse I should let her know that I was nervous and everything would be ok.
My nurse’s name was Nicole McCabe (from the organization Nurse Next Door) and I asked her quite a few questions because of course no matter where I go I always incorporate my experience into my “OUT and ABOUT with Seeker Chick Mai-Liis column. She told me that everyone administering the vaccine was either a nurse or a paramedic and she actually works at 3 paces: the Assessment Centre where she tests you for Covid, at the Cornwall Community Hospital where she treats you if you have Covid and also here at the Vaccination Centre where she vaccinates you to help prevent you from having full blown Covid. We have to understand that getting the Vaccine won’t stop you from getting Covid but if you do get it the symptoms won’t be as severe and you will hopefully not have to be admitted into the hospital. By getting the Vaccine we are trying to keep the health care system from getting overloaded.
Also we still have to wear our masks, wash our hands and social distance. I actually think we will be doing the mask wearing for a few years to come and really, handwashing is something that we should practice anyway as well as not getting too close to people we don’t live with.
So getting back to the “jab” itself…
Nurse Nicole asked me which arm I preferred, cleaned the skin and administered the vaccine – “That’s it?”, I said., as it felt like a mosquito bite (just like the guy in the initial check in area had told me it would)!!!
Then she put a bandaid on my arm as well as a sticker with the time of the vaccination on it and instructed me to go to the area where I had to wait for 15 minutes to make sure that I didn’t have any reaction to the “jab”.
The chairs were all spaced apart and as soon as someone had sat for 15 minutes and got up to leave, someone was right there to clean the seat.
I sat myself down and checked the clock on the wall. 4:30 – so I had to wait til 4:45pm.
Now I do have to say that when I entered this area it bought me back to my days back in high school in England and exam time. This was a time when I had stomach ache for days before exam day – as on the day of the exam, you filed into the gym and sat at a desk. You were allowed to take in only a pencil and an eraser and then the teacher would walk up and down the aisles, place a sheet of paper face down on the desk in front of you and then would say, “turn the paper over and you have til “such and such a time” to complete the exam. There was complete silence with the teacher sitting in front keeping an eye on things and you hoped that you had done enough revision to answer the questions and pass. No multiple choice questions in these exams – you had to remember a whole years worth of learning.
The only thing missing in the waiting area of course was the desk and the stern looking teacher!!!!
Anyway 15 minutes passed by fast and I left the area passing into the last check in spot where I was handed instructions on what to do “After your Covid-19 Vaccine” and also got a piece of paper saying that I had received the first dose of my Vaccine.
Then back to the Security Guard at the door and outside.
All done and not nearly worth the worrying that I had experienced for a few hours prior to arriving at the Benson Centre.
But then of course I have this fear even if I have to go for a blood test which always ended up being a quick in and out experience and not worth the anxiety and stress that I always put myself through.
That was yesterday and today I have to say that the only reaction I got was a very sore arm. So all is good and now I just have to go for my second vaccination in August.
Thank you everyone at the Benson Centre for making my first “jab” a safe experience and I am so thankful for the nurses, paramedics and all the volunteers and workers there as I was told that they are seeing well over 1,000 people a day, 6 days a week which makes it a lot of long hours yet everyone is still so patient and understanding with smiles on their faces and even cracking jokes although they may sometimes have “to fake it until they make it”!!!
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