Last week I got my second pfizer jab. I booked them both as soon as I was eligible to do so, with the second around 11 and a half weeks after the first one. The only location listed when I booked was a hospital about 7 miles away. According to a friend, there were more possible locations if you clicked cancel and then reloaded, but anyway I had booked and didn’t want to change it. However, when they started to recommend second jabs at 8 weeks (rather than 12 weeks), I looked to see if I could change the location of my second jab. Which I did, with my second jab at my local council’s Civic Hall.
I thought I’d do a comparison of the two experiences:
|First jab: NHS hospital COVID vaccination centre||Second jab: Council COVID vaccination centre|
|I arrived about 10-15 minutes before my appointment because that’s what times the trains were and I didn’t know exactly where I was going.|
The signs said don’t arrive more than 5 minutes before your appointment, so I sat outside and checked my phone for a bit before wandering up to the security guard who just waved me through to the single reception desk.
|I arrived about 10-15 minutes before my appointment because I walked there and I didn’t know exactly where I was going.|
The signs said appointments only. There were a couple of people sat outside but I just went in anyway. I told the volunteer in the jacket that I had an appointment but they just waved me through and told me to follow the arrows.
|After following several arrows and corridors to the main hall, the man on the door asked me if I had my card from my first jab. He then pointed out that it couldn’t have been five months since my first jab and that they must have written it down wrong. He then told me to go to the third reception desk (out of three).|
|The woman on the reception desk took my details. She gave me a load of paperwork which I wouldn’t have time to read and then told me to follow the long corridor round. There was no-one else around and despite the woman calling “next” there was no-one behind me.||The woman on the reception desk took my details and then pointed out that it couldn’t have been five months since my first jab. I commented that they must have written it down wrong. She gave me a load of paperwork which I wouldn’t have time to read and then told me to go to the next set of desks.|
|The woman on the next desk took my details and asked a few questions about whether I had any allergies and such things. She pointed out that it couldn’t have been five months since my first jab. I commented that they must have written it down wrong. The woman corrected my card and told me to join the queue that was behind her.|
|I got to the end of the corridor without seeing a single other person waiting to be jabbed. I was then directed to one of the nine pods that they were using.||A man directed me to join the queue of about 12 people before directing me to one of the three pods that they were using.|
|The man in the pod said “you must be Adrian” and then checked a few details and asked if I had any allergies and such things. I was then jabbed and he filled in my vaccination card and a piece of paper with a time on it and told me to follow the next corridor round to the waiting room.||The woman in the pod checked a few details whilst the man in the pod did something on the computer. I was then jabbed by the woman, and the man filled in my vaccination card and I was told to move into the waiting area behind.|
|I was told to take any seat in the waiting area until the time on my piece of paper. I was then free to depart, leaving my piece of paper with the time on on the chair so they knew it had been used and needed cleaning. I left as soon as my fifteen minutes were up.||I took any seat in the waiting area before being told there was a system and got moved to a specific chair. As the last person in the row, my time defined when the rest of the row could leave. I was allowed to leave as soon as my fifteen minutes were up. Everyone else in the row also had to wait until my fifteen minutes were up.|
|I got the train home. About 2-3 hours later, my arm started to feel a bit sore. The next morning it was very stiff, but by about 24 hours after the jab it was all back to normal.||I walked home. About 2-3 hours later, my arm started to feel a bit sore. The next morning it was very stiff, but by about 24 hours after the jab it was all back to normal.|
If I had to do a third jab, I’d probably go back to the hospital, even though it’s further away. Although that may just be because it wasn’t as busy. That’s a question to ponder for another day (if it ever happens).