Today’s guest blog is from Ade Williams, Superintendent Pharmacist at Bedminster Pharmacy.
On 28th of January, Bedminster Pharmacy started providing COVID vaccinations at the Methodist Church on British Road. Our communities goodwill and generosity carried us through the door, literally – especially after logistical challenges with our NHS supplies.
Our team of volunteers, reminders of the great privilege of bringing this project into our special community. The good news is that the national vaccination programme is moving at great pace. People over 65 and those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are now being sent invitations to book online using the NHS website or calling 119.
How quickly does the vaccine work?
Protection starts 12-14 days after the first dose. The second dose is crucial to get the best level of protection and longer-lasting protection, so it’s vital to come back for your second dose.
Which vaccine will I get and which is better?
You cannot choose which vaccine to have, so it’s crucial to have the vaccine you are offered. Remember whichever vaccine you are offered, has been shown to be safe and work well at preventing disease from the virus. The researches looking at effectiveness have measured them in different ways, so it isn’t necessarily helpful to compare them like for like.
Does the vaccine contain animal products?
No. They do not contain any ingredients derived from pigs, cows or other animals.
I’m allergic to penicillin – can I have the coronavirusvaccine?
Yes, all of the available vaccines are safe if you are allergic to penicillin.
I’ve already had Covid-19, do I still need to get vaccinated?
Yes, it’s really important to get the vaccine, even if you’ve already had Covid-19. You may have some level of immunity if you’ve had the disease, but this varies and may not last long.
Will I be able to pass on the virus to others if I’ve had the vaccine?
We don’t yet know for sure, so even after vaccination, it remains essential to follow guidelines around social distancing, hand washing and other guidance to stop the spread of coronavirus. You will also still need to self-isolate if you have symptoms or have been in contact with someone who has.
How much does the vaccine cost?
The vaccine is offered free on the NHS. It is not available privately so you can’t pay to get it sooner. Don’t fall for any scams offering it for cash.
With a 10-minute appointment journey including 3 minute contact time, we did not expect to experience such a flood of human experiences: birthday zoom calls, family pictures, tears, hugs and relief. Reminders that for many of the most vulnerable, the jab trip is their first outside for months.
Thanks to the collective effort and sacrifice making this possible. Every completed vaccination helps break down barriers, tackling hesitancy, bringing closer a time to meet with family and friends. The Bedminster Pharmacy’s ambition is to work with others; our GP surgeries and other NHS Clinicians to make it sooner. When your time comes, we will be ready for you too.