This is what it was like to get a Covid-19 vaccination at Brighton Racecourse

On Saturday, February 20, I was lucky enough to be administered with the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccination.

Monday, 22nd February 2021, 7:48 pm

After receiving the text the Thursday before and double-checking with my doctor’s surgery that it was definitely correct due to pre-existing medical conditions, I booked the earliest possible appointment.

I had some anxieties about going to the vaccination centre, at Brighton Racecourse—would it be easy to know where to go once I got there? Would I have any of the reported side effects?

Luckily, I had no reason to worry about the process of getting in and being vaccinated.

The moment of vaccination!
The moment of vaccination!

The total time, from arriving to leaving, was 22 minutes, and most of that was spent waiting for 15 minutes after the vaccination.

The atmosphere was wonderful - I’m not sure what I was expecting, but everyone I spoke to was so helpful and in such good spirits.

Because I’m hard of hearing and rely either on lip reading or being in a quiet space, I brought my boyfriend with me to be my ears.

Everyone was absolutely fine with it, and I saw several other people who had been accompanied.

Social distancing was high, even with people in your bubble and household

The doctor who administered my vaccination even took his mask down when speaking so I could understand what he was saying, which was something I really appreciated.

I barely felt a scratch when the needle went in, but as it did the profundity of the moment hit me.

Any anxiety I’d felt went away and all I could feel was excited and grateful.

Very soon after getting vaccinated my arm felt sore and heavy, and that night I felt quite drowsy, shivery, and had a headache.

There was a slight queue outside, but the total time from this to getting vaccinated was seven minutes

On Sunday the closest comparison I have was that I felt hungover—my head felt heavy and I was feeling a bit worse for wear.

But now on Monday, all I feel is a bit of pain at the injection site.

I’m so grateful to have been vaccinated, and for how wonderful the staff and volunteers were.

It felt like such a historic moment, magnified by remembering Margaret Keenan, the 91-year-old grandmother from Coventry, where I was born, who was the first person in the world to receive the Pfizer vaccination.

I realised that until getting the vaccine, I had read about Covid-19 updates every single day but the progressions hadn’t really felt real.

Getting vaccinated, I realised that we are moving forward and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

It's important to get vaccinated when invited to do so—to find out more, visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.