Fear of attending Vaccination Centre - British Lung Foun...

British Lung Foundation

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Fear of attending Vaccination Centre


I am due to receive my first Covid-19 jab on Wednesday, As I have been shielding since 8th March, I am so worried about going out and mixing with people at the vaccination centre. It would be so dreadful if I caught the virus from someone at the centre who has not been as cautious as I have been for the past ten months... Also, as some of the people administering the vaccine are volunteers, who may not have received adequate training, I am afraid of being injected with a needle that's already been used on someone else. I really wish I hadn't accepted the invitation.

58 Replies

Please go and get your vaccine theomus. Staff are trained and each needle is used once only. If you need to queue then measures should be in place for you to be socially distant. Wear a face covering if you can.

I do understand your concerns after such a long time shielding but it’s really important to get your jab. One day you will be able to go out again and be safe. Pete had his jab on Friday and is fine. Xxxx

theomus in reply to sassy59

Thank you so much, Sassy59, for your lovely reply. I'm glad to know that you understand how I feel! I will attend.

sassy59 in reply to theomus

That’s great. Wishing you well. Xxx

Hello theomus, I have shielded since march had my vaccine on Friday. Everything was well controlled I felt very safe it was painless. So glad I went it's one step forward. Take care Holly 🤗👍xx

theomus in reply to Hollyjt

Thank you for your kind reassurance, Holly. I've been letting my imagination run away with me. I'm sure it will all be perfectly safe.

Hollyjt in reply to theomus

Your welcome good wishes to you.👍😊x

Please go i do understand i to have shielded since March & the centre followed very strict rules, cleaning seats etc.

theomus in reply to Julie14

Thank you, Julie, for setting such a good example for all long-term shielders to follow! Let's hope it won't be too long before life returns to normal for all of us.😊

Rest assured you will not have a needle that has been used on anyone else. They are all sterile, one use only, disposable needles and syringes in NHS use. All staff are using best practices to keep patients safe. It is understandable to be anxious after shielding for so long but this could be your, and everyone else's, passport to something like a normal life again eventually. Have courage, everyone is doing this to help people at risk from the virus.

theomus in reply to Lemon7

Thank you, Lemon7! I believe you. I am widowed and have no family in the area and I have spent too much time alone. On the other hand, not having been in company for ten months, I can tell you that my chest has never been better! No company = no chest infections! 😃

Lemon7 in reply to theomus

Won't it be wonderful when vaccines have protected most of us and hopefully lockdown can ease over time and we can see family and friends again. Fingers crossed for the future. All the very best wishes to you.

theomus in reply to Lemon7

Thank you, Lemon7. That time shall surely come - and it will be wonderful!

All staff are highly trained. You are kept socially distanced from other people. All needles are single use. They always are in the NHS. Not going would be far more detrimental. Please go and discuss your worries with the staff when you get there.

theomus in reply to mary1956

Thank you, Mary 1956. I have been well and truly reassured. I am most grateful.😀

mary1956 in reply to theomus

Excellent. I had mine 2 weeks ago and it was an enormous relief. Still shielding though!

theomus in reply to mary1956

...as we have been instructed! At least there's an end in view. Have you been given the date of your 2nd jab? I hope the government will change its mind and reduce the 12-week period.😀

mary1956 in reply to theomus

Hi, no date for the 2nd dose yet. I too hope that it will be sooner than the 12 weeks, but I understand the importance of vaccinating more people. I doubt if I would have had my first vaccine until March if they had given the 2nd dose to the top groups. Good luck today

theomus in reply to mary1956

Thank you, Mary 1956. I can follow the logic of the new policy but understand that the virus can use a long period of three months to mutate and become stronger...

ninelives in reply to mary1956

Great reply.Sometimes if you are isolating alone and don't have folk ringing etc it's easy for things you would normally cope with easily to become gigantic elephants in the room.

Am sure that staff are expert at addressing concerns in a professional but kindly way .

theomus in reply to ninelives

Thank you!

Please don't worry. I have been going to satellite clinics for Shielding patients for blood tests 3 times now & they have been scrupulously clean & safe. At one of them I waited in my car till nurse came out to get me . Strict one in one out to clinic through different doors . Waited till they'd cleaned the chair I'd sit in and sterile equipment prepared . Then bloods done & in & out in 5mins 😊

theomus in reply to shouty

Thank you, Shouty!

ninelives in reply to shouty

Bless you for that -have been delaying getting uniphylline levels done since(dare I admit this) October as am ecv.Will get them done having read your post .

shouty in reply to ninelives

Oh so pleased that helped. It's so hard to feel safe but they are specially trained in Shielding patients 😊

theomus in reply to shouty

Thanks, Shouty! Tomorrow afternoon beckons. It is so kind of you to provide help and comfort to reluctant patients.

shouty in reply to theomus

hey I'm beating you to it as got my bloods in the morning

theomus in reply to shouty

Good luck, Shouty!

shouty in reply to theomus

All done same for you I hope.xx

There was a period from August until December when there was no shielding and you could go into shops. I have had my first shot and I have not caught COVID.

Saracat23 in reply to B_Asthma

Not everyone felt it was safe to go out in that period though and I think lots of people shielding decided to stay in during that time. That was a decision for individuals to make.

theomus in reply to Saracat23

Hear! Hear! Being "clinically extremely vulnerable", I knew it was the right thing for me.

theomus in reply to B_Asthma

Yes, I know, B_Asthma, but I opted to continue to shield, as I heard on the radio and saw (on the TV) so many people who were endangering others. I was determined to take care of myself, since there would be no one to take care of me if I became ill. During the better weatherI went out walking in the country lanes but I cannot at the moment, as the severe cold brings on my asthma and my angina.

Please don't be afraid to go, my husband has COPD so has been shielding and we went last Wednesday. It was a good experience, everyone was very protective and careful, very well organised and made sure everyone was 2 metres apart. Didn't hurt at all and no after effects either. I'm sure you will be fine, we can't wait for the next one! Jan

theomus in reply to Jansybelle

Thank you, Jan. I feel much safer now after the reassurance of so many kind people on this site.

You have to continue the excellent work of isolation which you carried out. I must confess that I was in the same state that you are now. I

I certainly will, oneeyedjack69! Thank you for your approval!

My husband had it last week. Everything fine inside centre. Outside queuing to get in. 6 people less than i metre apart. I’m not happy with thatJo

theomus in reply to Jomo46

That's not so good, is it? I shall watch out for that. Thanks for the warning!

Go and get your vaccine. Your anxiety is running away with you. Everyone is trained, all have separate needles. Keep your space from everyone, don't touch anything.. You'll be fine.

theomus in reply to Keem59

Thank you, Keem.

It's better to go and have it.Less risk than not being vaccinated. We waited in the car till it was my time to go ( we had proper appointments) Straight in, everyone in masks and doctor also present.Mine was 10 days ago and I'm fine. I too have shielded since March and am classed as extremley clinically vulnerable .

theomus in reply to Aingeful

Thank you, Aingeful. I too am "clinically extremely vulnerable". We are right to take extra care, and I shall continue to do so after both jabs!

Be reassured that it is very safe, we went to the local rugby club, separate entrance and exit, no waiting. A very pleasant young lady doctor did mine , my wife had our own surgery’s nurse who is brilliant. Every precaution was taken and it was well worth the slight risk for such a great benefit!

theomus in reply to PhilGM

Thank you, Phil. Messages like yours are very helpful. All the best to you both.

I know exactly how you feel The Government tell us to stay in right we stay in

then the government says go out and get your vaccine its a total joke

I hope you dont let it drive you mad if you wanna go go if not dont

We are not as we feel its not been tested enough

Thats a personal opinion

Dont let em drive you nuts my love XXX

I had had the same fear and enormous stress last week with my 88 year old mum who has bronchiectasis, catches everything and needs a lot of work getting outside during her sleep time!

Each centre is slightly different (e.g. I arrived early (which was needed to sort out the parking machine) and came into the centre a few minutes before the 6pm appointment and a 6 of us went in at the same time into separate booths (about 12 in total) , others bigger centres I see queue outsude, so I can't say what yours will be like but they do as much as they can to keep you safe.

I think it's more about how you can make yourself safe e.g. we wore 2 triple ply masks, I had wipes for any chair (we didn't need it though as we have a wheelchair and I stand), wore gloves and changed before touching myself or my mum, and had my mum's arm out already (but under her coat so that she was warm and protected but so her arm and jacket wasn't touched - I'm paranoid!) . There is a form that they fill in or perhaps bring a pen so you don't need to touch anything). So many people seemed to touch everything so I suggest avoiding touching things, having gloves or sanitising whenever you touch something.

The main problem I had was telling people to stay 2 metres away from us in the car park - and getting told not to panic. But it's our lives so I don't care about telling people to stay away.

The injection is really quick 3.5 secs from start to finish (I counted) . They use new needles for each person (the just take out vaccine from a bottle - so there is no contamination there).

The sitting for 15 minutes worried me a little but should be ok - some people seem to want to talk to others so I tended to avoid any close contact - and I got out as soon as they let us!

Hope that helps - you'll be really happy once it's done!

I was in the same position with exception of a couple of necessary hospital appointments I haven’t been out further than garden since March. I went for my vaccine, everything very well spaced and using needle twice I’d think totally unlikely. Get it done and when home put your clothing etc straight into washing machine, have a shower and you’ll feel very pleased with yourself and glad that you went. Good luck. Joy x.

First, every syringe is a one-trip item so no needle will ever be used twice.Second all the staff will have been trained - amateurs are not allowed to give injections ever. (Except with an ippy-pen of course).

Now, precautions which I shall be following when my turn comes (I am highly vulnerable and have been shielding but am only 798 and in mid Essex where the CCG is letting us down):

Wear a proper surgical mask at all times.

Do not touch your face with your hands unless you have thoroughly washed them.

If you go by car or taxi sit in the back, have a window open alongside you (however cold it is, a scarf helps) and try to face the window most of the time. Be sure the driver etc also wear masks.

If by bus sit away from people; face the window (open if possible). Do NOT let anyone sit next to you regardless!

If you have to queue stay MORE than six feet away from everyone (tell people to shout if needed).

If you sit and wait take some hand cleanser with you and if not offered to do so CLEAN the seat before you sit down.

Do NOT remove your mask while being injected, look away from the operator (who MUST wear a mask not just a face shield - shield only protect the wearer not you).

If offered tea politely refuse.

You will have to wait 15 minutes (usual with all injections in fact) before you leave.

Do all this and you will be fine. And it will be worth it. BUT do not change your shielding until at least after the second jab.

The first jab will deliver 70% protection after 14-21 days and even if you were to be unlucky and get Covid-19 it would be less serious because of the jab. The second booster will raise protection to about 90%. once more than 60% of people have had it life will start to get easier. BUT even with 90% protection it will be worth doing this: Avoid lifts and buses and train if you can. Maintain at least 4 feet separation from strangers. Continue trying not to touch other people, especially strangers until at least the summer.

And all this is available information if you want to go and find it. Nothing new really - all standard compromised immune system protections.

I felt the same too having been shielded since March, and had chemotherapy at home through summer, followed by 15 sessions of radiotherapy finishing in October in a very clean unit detached from the hospital.

My GP has assured me that it's safe for me to have it, I won't have any bad reaction to the vaccine, and that everything will be fine.

My husband had his first one last Friday, and apart from a slightly sore spot where it was done, he's fine.

Mine should be this week or next. Don't worry :)

It was all rather chaotic when I had it done, but everyone was behaving very sensibly in the queue and there were plenty of marshalls to keep order. Remember most of the people in the queue will have been shielding like you so you are most unlikely to catch covid from them. The staff presumably have all been vaccinated. Good luck; the risk is tiny, the future benefits will be great.

Thank you, everyone who has replied. I am very grateful to you all!

I have same problem . Feel safe at home but averse to going outside home. Haven't been out since Feb. Have heard various reports as to safety of these centres . I have to go to local surgery , lots of small rooms and sited in a local shopping centre. Have spinal stenosis as well as lung problems . Stenosis means I cannot stand for more than few minutes or walk very well . Lack of exercise has not improved this. Have no transport so have to contact nhs volunteers who transport people to various medical appointments and also can collect shopping. Nurse came to give flu jab but i am not officially housebound and so cannot expect that to happen again. I will have to phone the volunteers but they could have a similarinfective risk to using a taxi.

Hi theomus

I know you have received lots of reassuring messages already but I just wanted to add to them for you. I completely understand your anxiety as I felt the same as you. I had my jab on Saturday along with my husband. We only received the texts on Friday so I didn’t have too long to worry about it as such. But as much as I really wanted the jab, it was the thought of going out and being around others that concerned me too (I have OCD at the best of times so this has really done my head in haha)! I could not fault any aspect at all of getting vaccinated, it was like a military operation (but run by very friendly, reassuring staff/volunteers) - even my hubby who I’ve been shielding with since March was kept 2 metres away from me 😂

We were greeted at the door (no queues at all outside which I’d worried about), immediately given antibacterial hand gel dispensed by a member of staff, so not touched by other human hands! Then we literally moved from one 2 metre marker to another until it was our turn. After the jab we were told to wait in a waiting room for 15 minutes - my anxiety started to rise at the thought but it was all very well spaced out, with windows open and each time someone left the waiting room, the nurse manning the area immediately cleaned the seat with antibacterial wipes. When your time was up, you were ‘marshalled’ out and when you got to the door to exit, a member of staff gave you another squirt of antibacterial gel.

I was soooo impressed with how it was run and at no point did I feel as though I was in any danger of catching anything. The staff were all extremely kind and friendly, and I feel so incredibly grateful to have received the vaccination so soon. I am only 51 but have emphysema and bronchiectasis (along with other health issues) but didn’t expect to be vaccinated until at least mid Feb. This obviously isn’t a ‘get out of jail free card’ and I’m back to shielding again but it is a huge glimmer of hope for the future.

I apologise for the long response, I struggle to use one word when a dozen will do 😜

Please, please feel reassured that you WILL be well protected and cared for.

Wishing you all the best on Wednesday x

That is so kind of you!

I went yesterday, somewhat stressed as had to dig my car out of snow, It was amazing, well organised, drove in and valet parking in an appropriate space, some questions, very well distanced, handed me a form waited in an open space until a nurse called me, matter of minutes, sent into a secure booth, no one near, My GP all dressed in protective clothing and mask, needle sheafed so show new, told me what i was having, swabbed my arm with cleanser, did not even feel needle, was given a number and escorted to a wait area with open doors , seated away from anyone, seat cleansed before I sat. Exactly 15. Minutes later my hands sprayed with gel and told to leave by open door.I wore my mask and visor with a short sleeved top for ease, and felt totally safe. Have put this in detail so you can see what happened. Every person both patient and staff were masked, doors were open for fresh air, and staff all in PPE. Hope this helps. Am proudly wearing my vaccination sticker on my visor!

theomus in reply to Sops

Wonderful. Sops!

Hi themes, You can ring your doctor and ask if you can have the vaccine at home,

Hey Theomus. My experience is so similar that of Milly.,,,,that I won’t bore you with repeating it. But just to say that it is now nearly 2 weeks ago and was a first planned outing. I told myself that I was lucky that it was for such a positive reason. Take care , remember to breathe slowly and gently.


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