24Sep2021

The COVID vaccination questionnaire “protocol”

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I had my second COVID vaccination today and so I’m feeling particularly pleased with myself.  Not having anything else on my plate (because we’re in lockdown after all, aren’t we) I was in an especially cheeky mood when it came time for me to get the jab.
 
Knowing the long list of questions they get you to answer (and a lot of these questions seem to be more of a memory test for those who are in their “advanced years” of life) I thought I’d cut through them quickly without being prompted:
 
“My name is Michael Russell.  My date of birth is 29 September 1952 and I live at number & street, suburb, state & postcode.  My home telephone number is xx xxxx xxxx and my mobile telephone number is xxxx xxx xxx.  My Medicare number is xxxx xxxxx x and my drivers licence number is xxxxxx and my blood type is type A-positive.”
 
Too much information?  I was about to list the names of all fifty states in the United States of America (in alphabetical order) before the young nurse—I mean, everyone is younger than me, right?—asked me if I remembered when I had my first COVID vaccination.  Unfazed, I said, it was nearly three months ago, at the beginning of July.
 
“Was it this day?” the nurse asked, holding a postage stamp-sized smart phone her hand—which of course meant that I had to get out my reading glasses to see what she was pointing at. “Yeah, 9 July.  I remember it.  It was Jason who jabbed me in the arm that day.”
 
By this time, Padma (the nurse had completely lost her professional composure and I feared she might’ve jabbed me in the thyroid instead of in the deltoid) asked me if I knew I was going to have half-a-millilitre of Astra-Zeneca.  “Geez, I dunno how much vaccine you’re supposed to inject. You’re the one with the hypodermic needle and syringe. Just gimme what you think I need, OK?”
 
How the hell would I know how much of the stuff they’re supposed to inject?
 
We came to the final, most important question:  “Do you consent to having 0.5ml AstraZeneca injected into your arm?”
 
I thought about this question for a few seconds.  I mean, I’d just driven 20 kms to the vaccination clinic clear over the other side of town, spent a couple of minutes parking the car, 10 minutes checking into the damn place, 3 minutes waiting for my name to be called and another 5 minutes waiting for the delightful Padma to usher me into the seat … and I had my bare arm there … and she asks me if I consent?  As I said, I didn’t  have anything else planned for today.  Dammit, they’ve just gotta follow “protocol”, don’t they? 
 
“Yes.” (Well, what if I’d said, “Lemme think about it …”?)
 
OK.  All done.  2.5 kgs of cotton wool applied with a strip of masking tape (from Bunnings, no doubt) and I’m ready to go to the recovery room to wait out the next 15 minutes.  “I’m sure looking forward to a cup of coffee,” I said as I dressed myself on the way out.  “Sorry,” Padma said, “we’re not serving coffee anymore.”
 
Look, all joking aside, it was a good morning.  I brought a bit of joy into someone’s life and I feel pretty good about getting this whole thing over.  I think I might get a few other vaccinations done, like the one for whooping cough … and a tetanus booster (the last one I had was in 1970 when I was at Uni experimenting on live rats).

 

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sozzled replied the topic:
2 years 9 months ago
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There was actually more to this story but I omitted a few irrelevant details.  I misheard some of Padma's questions such as "Have you had any 'flu-like symptoms recently?" to which I answered "Yes, I have been drinking fluids this morning."  It's a bit difficult when you're trying to understand what people are saying when they have half their face covered with a surgical mask.

Another question was about fainting:  had I ever fainted after having an injection?  I've fainted a couple of times in my life when I've had blood removed from my arm but not from having anything injected into it;  I decided to keep that information to myself. I admit to being a little haemophobic.  There was also a sign in the vaccination room about people taking selfies—although you weren't allow to take photos of the staff—but I really wasn't interested in "prepping" for the "photo op" after getting the jab.

One final memory of the day:  I saw Jason again ... helping an elderly chap in the recovery room.