Vaccination is a painless process

Campaign for over 65s to get their Covid jabs

Campaign for over 65s to get their Covid jabs - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Last Saturday (March 13) it was announced that more than half of the UK population had now received their first Covid vaccination. Just a few days before I had received my first java at Westpoint. For those who have not been there I will give you a quick resume of what I experienced.

Travelling by car you have to approach Westpoint from the Exeter direction. This entails a slightly longer journey past Westpoint and down to the Clyst St Mary roundabout before coming back and turning left into the Westpoint site. You are guided to your car parking space by the volunteer stewards who I must say were very helpful and friendly. You are asked to remain in your car until five minutes before your appointment time. This gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy a coffee and a cake from the mobile coffee shop which is on site! I can personally recommend the chocolate flapjacks.

Gainsborough Sports Centre is being used as a Covid-19 Vaccination Centre.

Gainsborough Sports Centre is being used as a Covid-19 Vaccination Centre. - Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN

You enter the big cattle shed (well it is at The Devon County Show!) through the main entrance where you are asked to hand over your letter from the NHS for ID purposes. You then enter the main hall where you have to walk a lengthy zig-zagging route until you join one of the pod queues. This is very much like joining the queue at baggage check-in at an airport. When you reach the end of the queue at the pod you are asked a number of questions to check that you are ready to receive the vaccine. Then you have the painless process of receiving the vaccination. After receiving it you are asked to remain in a seat for 15 minutes to ensure there is no reaction. When leaving you are asked to turn your seat around so they know which ones need to be cleaned in readiness for the next attendee. And then it is time to leave and make your way home. All in all a very satisfactory process.

In the leaflets you are given it does explain that you may get a reaction to the vaccination. This was certainly the case with me and I did have flu like symptoms for 24 hours. I felt tired and my body ached but after a couple of early nights I was soon feeling a lot better. I’ve spoken to a number of friends who have received the vaccine recently and many have been in this situation. Apparently the reaction is caused by your immune system reacting to the vaccination. My medical friends tell me this is good news!

On the pandemic theme, aside from the vaccination situation, we have our next relaxation stage from Monday, March 29. This means a group of six people or two households can meet outdoors and socialise. Whilst this might not sound too exciting I suspect I am not the only one who cannot wait to be able to do this again. An outdoor picnic in the park, a few drinks in a garden, a coffee on the seafront and many other situations with more than two people can be enjoyed.

On the walking front I had the pleasure of going along the River Otter the other day and enjoying a coffee at Otterton Mill. Whilst there you can also buy some wonderful lunch items from their farm shop. After a quick stop we continued on the river towards Budleigh Salterton and took the next footbridge inland where there is a lovely rural pathway that takes you towards Ladram Bay. From there you can follow the coast path back to Sidmouth.

Finally, last week provided some wonderful TV sport. However, unless you are Irish, it was not great viewing especially for rugby and horse racing fans. You had to feel for the Welsh after the defeat in Paris but my sympathy was short lived as I remembered the Welsh fans never seem to show much sympathy when England lose!

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