Tuesday April 27th: Listening to His Voice
April 27, 2021
Wednesday April 28th: Let there be light
April 28, 2021

What’s it like taking ‘the jab’ ?

Fr Dexter Brereton

By Lara Pickford-Gordon

Email: snrwriter.camsel@catholictt.org

Thousands have received the COVID-19 vaccine since the State’s vaccination programme became accessible to the public from April 6, older persons, and frontline workers in the first instance. Distribution has continued to expand at health facilities.

Under the COVAX programme 34,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived March 30. Separately, 40,000 doses of COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccines from India arrived April 14. Up to April 21, approximately 20,000 persons have received the vaccine.

Various individuals are sharing their experience of receiving the vaccine.

Sharon Mangroo, Chief Executive Officer of the Catholic Education Board of Management said she contacted the La Horquetta Health Centre on Holy Thursday, after seeing the telephone numbers advertised.

There was a prompt answer, and she was informed that she could book an appointment for herself and her husband, Carl. The officer also said she would be contacted on the Saturday or Tuesday. Good Friday and Easter Monday were public holidays.

“On Tuesday at around 9.30 p.m. someone called, apologising for the late call. He asked about our ages and health status and gave me the date of Friday 9.” This clashed with another appointment Mangroo had on that date so April 12 at 9 a.m. was given.

She related: “When we arrived at the centre our temperatures were taken, and we were directed to a tent with socially distanced seating. After a while, a person explained that those who held appointments for 8 a.m. were still being processed.

“Eventually a nurse came out to confirm that the persons on her list were present and we were moved to seating inside, still socially distanced. The next stage involved health checks: blood pressure and blood sugar, then finally ‘the jab’. We were then seated in another area for observation over 20 minutes to half an hour before being dismissed.”

Mangroo and her husband were advised to take two Panadol to mitigate the side effects. She did so after having lunch and reported minor reactions; her arm felt a bit heavy and there was pain at the injection site for two days. Daily doses of Panadol over three days helped. Five days later, “my arm is fine”, she said.

There are persons reluctant to have the vaccine out of fear of serious side-effects.

Responding if she had any trepidation, Mangroo replied, “I am convinced that the only way out of this pandemic, as for other communicable diseases in the past, is for persons to be vaccinated.”

She rationalises that there is a slight risk of serious side effects with the vaccine and on the other hand a much higher risk with COVID-19 infection. “Since death is inevitable, my thinking is that the decision to take the vaccine has to do with negotiating the manner of death,” she commented.

Mangroo referred to the data at the time, with more than 8,000 reported infections in a population of 1.5 million. She added, “the risk of a serious side effect such as blood clots is reported as approximately four in one million persons who take the AstraZeneca vaccine. The odds are in favour of taking the vaccine.”

Fr Peter de la Bastide CSSp posted on his Facebook Page on Wednesday, April 21. “Took my first covid vaccine jab yesterday morning at the Arima Health Facility. First class service and attendance from pleasant nursing and auxiliary staff. No crowd and little waiting. Absolutely no after effects experienced up to 24 hours after. ”

Fr Dexter Brereton CSSp posted on the St Francis of Assisi, Erin Facebook page: “Save your own life and those of the ones you love…take the vaccine…please.”