On ice: COVID-19 vaccinations are stored in fridges at the city’s clinic. Photo: FILE

What’s it like getting the COVID vacc?

June 11, 2021 BY

AS coronavirus vaccination efforts ramp up with rollout expansions and blitzes, members of the public have joined the queues to get the jab.

Musician Mary Card booked her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine when the rollout was expanded to those in their 40s, calling the Coronavirus Hotline “straight away” to make an appointment at the Mercure vaccination clinic.

While Ms Card said she had to wait around 20 minutes on the phone, “It was all very streamlined once I was there, and everyone was very nice”.

“It was all very efficient and organised,” she said. “I felt perfectly fine, my arm was a bit sore but nothing that stopped me doing anything.”

Ms Card said she felt it was important to get vaccinated so she can return to her work in an industry hit hard by the pandemic.

“As a musician, my income has been decimated. The more people who get vaccinated the better chance I have of making a living,” she said.

Ryley McDougall joined the walk-in lines last week as part of the vaccine blitz for disability support staff.

The disability support worker and occupational therapy student at Deakin University said the process of getting his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine was “really good”.

“I just had to wait in the line. I think the line took me about 10-20 minutes, but I went down at a quiet time,” he said.

“Then I sat down, waited for the nurse, all the nurses were really friendly, had the jab and then you’re just waiting for 15 minutes to get out and I got a free lollipop.”

“I had a sore arm, it was a little bit numb in my shoulder where I had it. That’s a stock standard thing so any vaccine I have I generally have numbness but other than that I felt fine.

Mr McDougall’s father, Steven, was quick to make a booking to receive his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine in early May.

“I rang up the hotline number, got through straight away and they booked me in the very next day,” he said.

“The moment I was eligible for the 50s and over I basically just rang up and went straight in. Waiting time was about half an hour from start to finish with no side effects.”

He said he may have thought about waiting, however, when newer statistics on the risk of developing thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome were released after getting his vaccine.

As reported by the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation on 4 June, the risk of TTS in those aged 50 or over who have received the AstraZeneca vaccine sits at around 1.8 per 100,000.

Director of Loddon Mallee Public Health Unit, Dr Casey Nottage, said while each individual experience getting the vaccine is different, there have been some similarities.

“Broadly what we’ve seen is people tend to have a stronger reaction after their first AstraZeneca [dose] and a stronger reaction after their second Pfizer [dose].

“That’s the experience I had but nothing that wasn’t managed with some simple home remedies and being aware that that might be the case and looking out for it.”

Dr Nottage said people should consult with their GP if they have any questions or concerns before or after their vaccination.

“Getting vaccinated isn’t just about protecting yourself. We know vaccines are a public health strategy and its really about the benefits for yourself but then the benefits for the community around you.”