Meet the Sheffield students who have received their Covid-19 vaccine
“It feels like one of the worst hangovers, without the fun of getting drunk first.”
With almost 18 million people having received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine in the UK and Boris Johnson announcing his ‘roadmap’ plan, the light at the end of the tunnel is starting to appear.
The vaccine programme has, so far, been hugely successful meaning that some Sheffield students have already received their jab.
The Sheffield Tab spoke to some of these students about their experience of the process.
Mia, Student Nurse
Mia was offered a vaccine as a health care worker and as clinically vulnerable due to a previous bone graft. She said her vaccination went smoothly: “I was observed for 15 minutes after and had a sore arm for two days but nothing serious.”
She also said that she understands people’s concerns about the vaccine, but encourages people to get it as she thinks it is the most effective way out of this.
In terms of how the whole programme is running, Mia is pleased with the progress: “I’m happy with the way the government have set out this vaccination programme – although not redeemable for how they’ve handled the pandemic prior to this, I’m glad they’ve done this well.”
The booking process took less than a minute for Dom: “It was such a quick and easy process and the staff made it really comfortable.”
Similar to Mia, he had a sore arm for a couple of days afterwards but that was all.
Dom told The Tab what he thought about people not trusting the vaccine. “Vaccine hesitancy isn’t new.”
“Exposure to online misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines poses a massive risk to society but clinical trials of all vaccines must first show they are safe and effective before any vaccine can be authorised or approved for use, including COVID-19 vaccines. The known and potential benefits of a COVID-19 vaccine must outweigh the known and potential risks.”
Phoebe was invited by the University Health Service to get her vaccine due to being on a clinical placement.
About her experience of receiving the vaccine, she said: “I queued up for a few minutes, was asked some questions, queued some more inside and was directed where to go. The jab itself was super, super speedy! I then went and sat outside in a tent for 15 mins to be monitored for side effects then popped home.”
Phoebe sees the vaccine as a beam of light and a path to a social future.
“Please have the vaccine if you are invited for it! It will protect you and others and we can move out of lockdown sooner and safer. ”
*name changed upon request for anonymity.
Hollie, Social Work
Hollie is a final year social work student who received the vaccine on placement.
The process took a bit longer for Hollie as she had to wait a few weeks after giving her information to actually book her appointment. However, she said the procedure itself was really straightforward.
As for her side effects, she said: “It kind of feels like one of the worst hangovers, without the fun of actually getting drunk first.”
“I got a headache about six hours after my jab . Then I woke up in the middle of the night to my arm being dead, constant cold and hot flushes and then feeling sick.”
According to Hollie, ibuprofen helps but you just have to ride it out.
Richard is currently studying for his Masters Degree in Physiotherapy and was offered the vaccine whilst on placement.
He described the vaccination process as “hassle free”.
In regards to the programme, Richard feels frustrated by people who refuse the vaccine: “I get pretty annoyed about people not wanting the vaccine when they’re worried about long term side effects because they’re not more qualified than the scientists who made it”
“I think a lot of students think the actual disease won’t affect them but when you see people who’ve had Covid, you realise anyone can get a bad case of it.”
Ellie, Physical Education and School Sport
Ellie received a text, offering her the option to book a slot. “The booking process is so quick and easy. You enter your date of birth, choose a time slot and you’re booked in.”
She wants to reassure readers of The Tab that the procedure is not as scary and daunting as it may come across. “The nurse was really lovely and explained everything I needed to know about the vaccine. For anyone who’s scared of needles, I promise it’s so thin I couldn’t even feel it.”
So far, she has not had any symptoms yet.
Ellie feels that people who turn down the option of the vaccine don’t realise how fortunate they are. She said: “I’d love people to know how lucky we are to have the volunteers who work at these centres.”
“I spoke to a woman who’s there for six hours a day, five days a week unpaid because she just wants life to get back to normal as quickly as possible.”
Hannah is a second-year journalism student at Sheffield Hallam University. She was offered the vaccine through her part-time job with the NHS.
She went to the Northern General for her appointment and said: “The actual jab hurt less than the flu jab!”
Hannah said she felt fatigue after her appointment, but isn’t sure whether that was a side effect of the vaccine or general student life!
“I got the Pfizer jab and had no side effects. I have heard people who got the Oxford one had worse side effects though!”
The journalism student feels that it is “ridiculous” that people refuse the vaccine with no real reason.
“It’s not just about ourselves, it’s about everyone. Some people physically can’t have the vaccine so those of us who can, need to take it at the earliest opportunity to protect everyone.”
“It’s selfish if you are privileged enough to be offered protection and you refuse it.”
Lucia, Paramedic Science
Lucia was offered her vaccine on a work placement with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service. She considers herself lucky as front-line staff were given the jab first and that included students working for the trust.
Lucia suffered from a few side effects such as the reoccurring dead arm, a high temperature and feeling lethargic. Nevertheless, she said that these disappeared within a couple of days.
She feels that whilst everyone has their own personal choice to refuse the vaccine, “people really need to weigh up the pros and cons of getting it” for the greater good.