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Vaccine story shared by Community Palliative Care Nurse Specialist, Andrea

Vaccine 1 year on

From 1 April 2022, it will become law that any colleague working within the NHS must be fully vaccinated with an authorised COVID-19 vaccine or be able to demonstrate that they fall into the listed exemptions. All #TeamUHDB staff will have had to receive their first vaccination dose by 3 February 2022.

Andrea Jones, Community Palliative Care  Nurse Specialist, has shared with us her reasons for getting the vaccine.

Andrea, who has worked within the community role for five years, said: “In 2009, I had a severe auto immune response to a swine flu vaccine.

“Because of my previous reaction to the swine flu vaccine, I haven’t been able to have a flu jab since because of one small ingredient that I am allergic to, hence my concern when Covid-19 struck the UK back in 2020!

“Because of my worries, I got in touch with the Allergy Consultant and Chief Pharmacist at UHDB to look into my specific case to see if there was any possibility of me being able to get the covid vaccine, despite previous reactions.

“I consented to my medical records being examined and giving a full history, it was eventually thought I would be able to have the Pfizer vaccine, although still some risk.

“I was so fortunate to be able to attend the clinic in the hospital that was set up for patients such as myself so that I could be monitored more closely because of previous reactions.

“Although very anxious, I have now had my first and second Pfizer vaccines and will go ahead and have my booster when the time comes. I had a slight headache and was a bit flushed with an achy arm, but I was absolutely fine and so grateful to be able to have this vaccine for myself my family and my patients.

“I think working and living throughout the pandemic has been so awful, as a nurse and a mum I just feel it is really important that as many people as possible are vaccinated. Of course, I was terribly frightened about getting the first dose as I really didn’t want the end result to be the same as my previous swine flu vaccine, however there is support out there to guide you if you’re feeling scared.

“We all have our different reasons for being scared - I was in your position once, but I now feel so much better after talking my concerns through with professional and taking an educated decision regarding my health – my job means the world to me and after having the vaccines, I feel reassured that I am protecting the job and patients that I love working with, my family and the lifestyle I lead.”

Cathy Winfield, Executive Chief Nurse, said: “I am really proud of Andrea for sharing her vaccine story – I’m sure some of her fears that she mentioned will echo with some of our staff reading this.

“The pandemic, sadly, isn’t over and the new Omicron variant must act as a call to arms for those who haven’t yet had their jab. If you have any concerns regarding the vaccine, please speak to our Occupational Health Team. The vaccine will help to protect you, your patients, and your loved ones”.

Find out more about our coronavirus (covid-19) booster and flu vaccine program >