Your experiences of getting the COVID-19 vaccine
As you may know, the vaccine roll out is in full swing across Lewisham. As more people are vaccinated in the borough, we’re reducing the risk the virus poses to ourselves, our loved ones and the most vulnerable in our community.
We’ve been asking our COVID-19 Community Champions to reach out to residents who have already received the vaccine, and find out about their experiences.
Quotes about the vaccine process during the appointment
“I am a 72-year old who has this week received my first vaccination against the virus. I would urge everyone who has the opportunity to have the vaccination to do so. It is virtually painless, and the process was efficient, orderly and courteously conducted. Thank you to the staff and volunteers who are operating this service.” - Mike
“I am a carer for my mum who lives in Grove Park. As she is 85, I received the text to book an appointment for her. It was a really simple process using a smart phone. Upon arrival to her appointment we were greeted by volunteers who were very welcoming and friendly. The waiting area was clean and we both felt very safe there. She was called in and after a few minutes was given her vaccine. We then waited in another area for 15 minutes. The whole process was very smooth and COVID-secure.” - Mrs E Morris
“The whole procedure went very smoothly with friendly volunteers giving directions at each stage of the process. The vaccination was painlessly given by a personable and competent nurse. It is now the end of day four and I’ve had no side effects whatsoever.
So congratulations to the NHS and all the volunteers for the excellent organisation and delivery of my vaccine. I would award them five stars (out of five) for all aspects of the vaccination process! Please don’t hesitate to have your vaccination when invited.” - Bob
“I'm into my third week of being a steward at a local vaccine centre, and it's been amazing. You do get the odd negative comment from those who have been reading all the stuff on social media. But they are a small percentage - generally people are glad and relieved to be getting their jabs. It's been great fun chatting to the older people who turn up - for some it’s the first time they have been out since last March.
I'm outside usually with a couple of other volunteers and it's our job to welcome people and point them in the right direction. Those who are frail are spotted very quickly and we grab them a wheel chair and get them in and seen as soon as possible. People who are nervous usually leave with the biggest smiles, although it's hard to tell with masks on! Yesterday in Downham we vaccinated 707 people – there are 14 volunteers and six NHS staff, with four giving the injections. It's great to be a part of this huge team, all there to help our community. I would highly recommend becoming a COVID-19 Community Champion.” - Sean, a steward at a local vaccine centre
Accounts from residents on why having the vaccine is so important to them
“I was over the moon when my parents received their text message to book their vaccine. As members of the Windrush Generation they were keen to be vaccinated because they had seen the high numbers of deaths, especially amongst Black, Asian and Ethnic Minorities. They had also experienced just how unwell and incapacitated they had been when they were very ill with COVID-19.
When I received my text to book my appointment I don’t think I have ever been so happy or so keen to have an injection.
It has been one week since my vaccine and I have had no side effects at all. So what difference has it made? I still follow all my practices I had before having the vaccine. I stay at home, wear a mask, wash and sanitise my hands. I feel reassured that my immunity will build up over the coming weeks, I can share my experience and encourage other to have the vaccine when they are called to do so. I can look forward to the day when I can hug my parents. I can look forward to the day when we have all had the vaccine, and to when we can all give each other a comforting hug.” - Councillor Brenda Dacres
“I did have my doubts about the vaccine but there are a couple of people in my family who got it too which gave me a lot of confidence because they are absolutely fine. Being a frontline worker, it is very, very good for me to come and have it, and I would encourage everyone to get their vaccine when contacted.” - Ade
Quotes from local GPs
“Read the science and don’t listen to any of the misinformation that’s out there. This vaccine has been clinically tested and is safe to use. I’ve had mine, as have most of my staff. It offers a huge amount of protection against COVID-19 so please don’t be scared of having the vaccine.” - Dr Sian Knight, The Jenner Practice
“The COVID-19 vaccine is really safe and I've had it personally. I'm so grateful that I have had it and I would encourage all my family members to do the same so we can beat coronavirus.” - Aarthi Ravshankar, Trainee GP
Watch a video of some residents and health workers we spoke to at The Jenner Centre in Forest Hill:
We want to know more about how you will respond to your invitation for the COVID-19 vaccine. This will help us make sure we are providing the right information for everyone through our webinars and other communications. Take part in our short survey and let us know if you will be getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it’s your turn.