By Waliu Adeyeri
As today marks a month since I took the first dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Now is the better time to share my experience.
As you have guessed right, it is only a warrior that returns from a battlefront that tells the tale of his expedition.
THE FEAR OF TAKING THE COVID-19 VACCINE
It’s time to confess…
I have always not been scared of taking injections or vaccines, as far as I can recall, I started opting for injections when I was ten. I preferred taking injections to pills, well maybe because mum would force us to chew the pills, I don’t even want to recall how Amalar pills tasted on my tongue, lest I begin to feel nausea.
Back to the discourse. As a news reporter, I am a foreline worker in the country. Coupled with the influence of my mother, a civil servant working in a health centre, I have the opportunity of getting the jab.
Guess what, I feigned busy, yes I hid under the pretense of being too busy with work, despite working from home. Well, I was actually, but not too busy to be vaccinated.
Along the line, I was under the weather; down with malaria. Another excuse to miss my booked session.
NO MORE EXCUSE
Like a warrior that exhausted his ammunition on a battlefront, I was left with no excuse as mum called a night to another scheduled appointment that I have been scheduled to get the COVID-19 vaccine the next day.
What excuse do I give, she had taken the vaccine, about a month earlier, nothing had happened to her.
Still nurturing the illusion that the vaccine is a means to “decongest humanity” which was borne out of myriads of rumours, myths, and misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine.
I got to the health centre, Odonla Health Centre quite late just to miss the schedule. Fortunately or should I say, unfortunately, the nurse was attending to those who had come for their second jabs.
JOURNALIST’S CURIOSITY MEET FEAR
If it was the curiosity to know more or fear, I don’t know which came over me. I asked about three people. Among the over 20 people present to get the vaccine.
I spoke with a young lady, whose name is Zainab. She said she had come for the second jab. Speaking of when she got the first dose of the vaccine, she said got it 2 months ago.
On her reaction to the vaccine, she felt mild reactions such as high temperature and cold. But she took paracetamol to ease the reactions.
Another lady, Oyinkansola, said she never felt any reaction after taking the first dose of the vaccine.
I must say the process of getting the vaccine was extremely unlike Nigeria’s (corruption-filled) means of enjoying the Federal Government initiatives.
It’s started with the presiding health practitioner demystifying the myths of the vaccines. It was an interactive session, almost everyone asked questions on the vaccine.
Afterward, the doctor attended to those who had come for their second dose.
Everyone is instructed to eat before getting the vaccine. After taking the dose, they wait for about 30 minutes before collecting their cards and are allowed to leave the premises.
I was amazed by the manner of orderliness. Although a slight misunderstanding due to the attendance numbering was recorded, it was resolved in no time.
FEAR OF TAKING INJECTIONS IS NO RESPECTER OF AGE
I confirmed this on this day, as a tall young guy, approximately in his mid-20s displays his fears for the injection.
I narrated how he did when he wanted to take the first dose of the vaccine. I confirmed all he said as he withdrew his left arm more than five times before the injection was inserted.
Everyone laughed as he shouted in reaction to the piercing of the needle into his skin.
The inoculator was fast at this action, in a blink of the eye, the vaccine was administered swiftly.
Well, as a Big boy, what do you expect?
I comported myself, I devised a strategy not to feel the pain while the vaccine is being administered.
I forgot the myths and illusions. As you know, one should not complain of feeling cold after deliberately placing your legs in the water.
I engage in a talk with the vaccinator, the subject of the short discourse I can’t remember but I must say, it was really helpful. I didn’t know when the vaccine was administered.
AFTER TAKING THE VACCINE…
The first thing I dealt with was to confirm the myth surrounding the vaccine.
First, I got a direct message on my WhatsApp messenger from a friend of mine who saw the picture on my status.
Here is our conversation:
Simeon: Sir, you uploaded a picture yesterday showing that you are receiving a vaccine, is that Covid 19 vaccines?
Simeon: Wow! I just saw a video where the same vaccine act magnetic.
Me: (My heart skipped a bit) Magnetic ke?
Simeon: Can you try to place a pure iron key on that spot to test run it.
Me: (I was filled with mixed feelings, wondering what to do if it turns out true. I summoned the courage to try it, after all, I had taken the vaccine. After trying it out, this was my response) I just did… It’s a myth. It’s mere illusion. It does not act magnetic.
I FELT MILD REACTIONS
I also felt slight reactions to the vaccine. I felt headache, high temperature, and cold the next day, but subside the next day.