I’m a volunteer Covid-19 vaccinator in Leeds and this is what it’s actually like

Rahhh, where’s my Moderna?


In 2021, I became a student-turned-Covid vaccinator, despite having no previous medical experience.

The job is full of challenges and there are a whole load of things you’ll only know if you’ve worked as a vaccinator.

This is what I learned after six months on the job.

1. The jab itself doesn’t hurt

Most people are used to dealing with pricks in their lives, so the jab is the next logical step up.

2. The NHS loves to play chart music

Music plays in the hub and if I have to hear Omi’s seminal 2015 hit Cheerleader one more time, I will scream under my mask.

3. Sorry students, but you do actually have to wait the full 15 minutes before you can leave

Don’t blame me, blame Moderna. Just go on Hinge and the 15 mins will fly by, trust x.

4. ‘I didn’t even feel it go in’ is a big flex

In day to day life, this is normally a sentence riddled with shame, especially if you’re on the receiving end of it. But, when you’re administering a vaccine I consider it a serious compliment.

5. You get used to jabbing people quickly

I was so nervous when I did my first vaccinations, but you learn to get used to it by the end of your first shift. After that, it’s just part of the job.

6. People who go to the gym have the most satisfying arms to jab

The needle goes into muscle, so the people that go to the gym normally have the most ‘cushion’ for the syringe to travel through. If you’re a vaccinator you’ll get what I mean.

7. You don’t need previous medical experience to become a vaccinator

I had to take 13 online modules, a DBS check and a day of face-to-face injection training before I could start the job. Apart from that, the most intimate experience I had with needles was getting my septum pierced in a dodgy back-alley studio in Leeds.

8. People bring gifts

One lady brought in a box of Cadbury for the staff to share. When you get your jab, bring in a Snickers just in case I’m your vaccinator, please x.

9. Questionable wardrobe decisions

Look, I know you want to show off your lovely new Depop shirt, but the vaccine has to go at the top of the arm, which means I need to be able to get to it.

10. I have yet to see where they keep the vaccine microchips

Sorry conspiracy theorists, they don’t exist. Move on <3

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