22 January 2021
Vaccinations in Care - Linda's story
With COVID-19 vaccinations well underway in our care homes, we hear from some of our frontline colleagues who’ve already received their first jab. Curious about what to expect from the process? Want to understand what the vaccine means to care workers? Read on for the latest in our series of blogs focusing on vaccinations in care…
Linda’s vaccination story
After having COVID-19 myself back in April, and seeing the effects this horrid virus has had, I couldn’t wait to get the vaccine. So last Tuesday – the first day the vaccine was available – I was at the Royal Surrey Hospital waiting for the jab.
April was a horrid time. This virus is not pleasant, and it affects people so differently. The main symptoms I had were loss of sense of taste and smell, however my deputy was more poorly and spent three days in bed. Since then I’ve also seen the impact the virus has had on the people who live with us, from a health perspective and their wellbeing. Some of our residents haven’t been able to see their family for months now and that’s heartbreaking. One of our lovely residents, Mary, is bed-bound and asks for her son Graeme every day. This vaccine gives us hope that we can return to some normality and hope for our relatives and loved ones that they will be able to see their special people again.
I’ve heard some colleagues say they’re not sure, that the vaccine isn’t safe and it has been launched too soon. But the best scientists from all around the world have been working tirelessly to develop the vaccine and we need to put our trust in them. Yes, it’s been quicker than usual, but that’s because this is a worldwide issue and some of the barriers that have been there for other vaccines, such as funding, have been removed. That’s what’s sped it up, they wouldn’t have authorised it if it wasn’t safe - they want to stop the virus doing nay more damage. There’s lots of things that we do every day without thinking about the risks - so this is such a small risk in comparison.
And if you’re worried about what happens when you go to the hospital, don’t be. The process was very straightforward. Everyone was so friendly and thankful to us for what we do every day - and for getting the vaccine. I was only there a short amount of time, they asked for my ID to prove where I worked and needed my NHS number. You can find that at the top of any of your prescriptions or letters from the NHS. And if you don’t know it, don’t worry as there are people at the hospital who can help you.
So, from what I’ve seen and experienced this year, it was an easy decision for me. I’m passionate about seeing an end to COVID-19 so please go have the vaccine when it’s offered to you. You’ll be protecting the people we look after, as well as yourself, your family and friends. And don’t wait too long, and don’t wait for one of the other vaccines that are in development, as you might find that you’re at the back of the queue if you don’t take it up when it’s offered to you.
Linda Grout is Home Manager at Eastlake in Godalming, Surrey
We take the safety of both our colleagues and our residents very seriously and are doing everything we can to safeguard them from the virus. Learn more about what we are doing to protect our residents here: https://www.anchorhanover.org.uk/media/press-room/vaccinations-taking-place-across-anchor-hanover-care-homes