A Kiwi Covid shot part 1

Yesterday I was wiped out by the time I got home. I drove to Levin to drop my car off for new tires, a window fix and a few other minor repairs. Then I walked briskly to the vaccination centre.

After my Pfizer Covid–19 shot I walked briskly to Line Dancing where Deb joined me. We danced for 2 hours then drove home. The day had started with a bit of stress too, around a computer sale.

The Covid shot was booked for Monday after I filled in an online form last Thursday and was rung early on Friday to make a time. The vaccinations were taking place at Levin’s Events Centre. I walked in to an overheated room (apparently they hadn’t had time to turn the heaters off). There were probably 100+ people in two seating areas, 5 vaccination stations and 3 tables with at least half a dozen workers. There was a steady stream of new arrivals.

First I checked in with one worker who completed some details on a laptop and filled in my vaccination card. I was directed to sit in the nearby group of seats and wait.

From time to time someone would come and read out names, one by one, until someone replied. That person would then go through behind a screened vaccination station.

Sometimes a woman who had been sitting by me would be called over to assist. When I heard her later speaking a Pacific Island language with some folks behind me I realised she must be a translator.

I’d arrived quite early and was glad my name was called some 20 minutes before my appointed time.

The nurse asked me some questions and had me give verbal assent to the shot, also explaining possible side effects.

I must say, the shot hurt quite a bit, unlike the flu shot I had last month which I barely noticed. Deb had her shots last month and tells me hers didn’t hurt at all. Sure enough, I’ve had a sore arm since, but it’s not bad.

After my shot I was directed towards another staff member who confirmed a couple of things with me then directed me to another staffer to organise my second appointment.

Then I was directed to the other group of chairs where I was to wait to be sent away.

After 20 minutes a staffer called my name, asked how I was feeling, checked the vaccination site on my arm and told me I was free to leave.

By dinner time I was done for. I put myself to bed where I slept intermittently until about 5.30 am. My arm’s still a bit sore, but otherwise I feel fine.

The whole Covid thing is a bit unreal in Aotearoa New Zealand because our borders closed promptly and the country had a very effective shutdown back in April 2020. We have no Covid in the community and most of us go about our daily lives more or less the same as ‘before’. Tourism is slowly starting to open back up, and we’re strongly encouraged to ‘scan in’ when we visit a venue such as a cafe or business, though I’m not sure many people still do that.

Our vaccination programme has also felt quite slow, but it’s probably not easy to obtain supply and of course there were organisational challenges in delivery, such as having trained staff.

Those who needed the shots most — those working at the border or in the quarantine sites where most travellers are required to spend 14 days — were rightly prioritised. Things seem to be picking up now.

Vaccination record card front.
Vaccination card.
Miraz Jordan @Miraz

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