COVID-19 vaccination: "I would do it again any time".
Published 24 Feb 2021 • By Bianca Jung
Biggi1964, a member of Carenity Germany, spoke to us about her recent vaccination against COVID-19.
Why has she already been vaccinated and how did the two vaccinations go?
Find out all about it in her testimonial!
Hello Biggi1964, first of all, thank you for agreeing to share your experience with us.
Could you first tell us a bit more about yourself?
I am 56 years old and was born with hip dysplasia (a congenital malformation of the hip socket). Until 2013, I had only mild problems and was able to fully perform my job as a nurse. In 2013 I started having significant issues and could no longer walk, a joint replacement is not possible in my case. After being unable to work for a year, I struggled back into my profession as a wheelchair user. I work full time in a large clinic in the administrative department, where I have a lot of patient contact despite my limitations.
Why have you already been vaccinated now?
I was vaccinated because my nursing department belongs to the priority at risk group as frontline workers.
Do you work with COVID patients?
On my ward, we have had contact with several COVID patients who have been admitted. During a six-day quarantine period, the first and second PCR tests showed positive results, so the patients were moved to a special isolation area or to the intensive care unit because their health deteriorated severely. The patients were people between 80 and 94 years old. We lost four of them.
Which COVID vaccine did you receive?
I got the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
How did the first dose of the vaccine go? And how about the second?
The vaccination was administered in a special area of the clinic. A vaccination line was set up and registration was done on a voluntary basis just before Christmas. Each staff member could register on a list depending on their field of work, and the list was prioritised by a special team.
Two days before, we were informed that we should bring the required completed documents and the vaccination card to the clinic on the day of vaccination. Everything was checked in the vaccination line. We had to show our IDs and the vaccination consent form, a self-disclosure about any pre-existing conditions and the vaccination card were checked. We then had the opportunity to talk to a doctor. The vaccine was then administered and we were escorted to a quiet room where we were looked after by medical and nursing colleagues. After 30 minutes, we were allowed to leave the room and had to sign out at the exit.
The second vaccination was similar, but went quicker, as we had already been given the explanations. This time, too, we were monitored for 30 minutes after the injection.
Everything was very well organised. I have to give a lot of praise to my colleagues for that.
During the second vaccination, however, we had difficult weather conditions so we weren't sure if the transporter with the vaccines could get through. There were heavy snowfalls and the vaccine was only delivered in the afternoon.
Did you experience any side effects after the first or second vaccination?
Personally, I had no side effects except for a slight feeling of pressure at the injection site during the first vaccination.
However, my colleagues had flu-like symptoms and pain at the injection site during the second vaccination. They tend to be younger and male colleagues.
In my opinion, it is better to live with the side effects for a short time than to fall ill with COVID and perhaps die in the process, like some of our patients. This has been very close to everyone's heart and has affected us a lot.
Were you afraid of contracting COVID-19 or are you less afraid now?
Yes, I have to admit that I was afraid of catching COVID, because I've experienced the course of the disease first hand on my ward. Now I feel more protected, although I still follow all protective measures. Since I am not someone who is very anxious, I was able to deal with everything very well from the beginning.
What would you like to say to people who are sceptical or even against vaccination?
Please think carefully about your life situation and whether you would like to be vaccinated. Everyone should make the decision for themselves. I would do it again at any time.
Is there anything you'd like to say to the Carenity members reading this interview?
Since we would like to lead a reasonably normal life again in the foreseeable future, everyone should think carefully about what they can and want to contribute to this. Take care of yourselves and stay healthy.
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