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Volunteering to vaccinate

Like most people, when the 3rd lockdown hit I found myself at home and bored out of my mind, so when the Durham First Aid Society offered the chance to volunteer as a vaccinator through St John’s Ambulance I thought it would be a great way to help in my local community and also get out of the house! After completing an interview I was offered a training day, where I learnt the essentials of how to deliver a vaccine, along with basic first aid training. I was then lucky enough to receive the Covid Vaccine myself, before being deployed to a local pharmacy – those who know me will probably be relieved to hear that the volunteer vaccinators always work in the same room as a healthcare professional, so there was always support there when I needed it (or some backup for the more eccentric old people who we were vaccinating!)

Over the next few months I administered over 300 first doses and 50 second doses of the vaccine to those in my local community; not only was this incredibly rewarding but also provided a much needed break from endless online lectures! I also picked up some useful skills, getting to know the inner workings of a pharmacy and learning how to best accommodate people with disabilities.

A large part of the role also involved talking to each patient to address their concerns about receiving the vaccine; especially after the news of blood clots as a potential, although incredibly unlikely, side effect of the AstraZeneca Vaccine, it was important to make sure everyone felt safe and reassured about the vaccine (as well as my qualifications as a vaccinator – I’ve never seen anyone look more terrified than my secondary school physics teacher realising I was the one about to vaccinate him!

I’d definitely recommend volunteering for the vaccination effort to anyone who would like to help with the efforts against COVID-19, as there’s plenty of roles even for those who aren’t great around needles.

Find out more

About the First Aid Society and other clubs and societies at Durham here

Milo Anderson

Hi! I’m Milo and I’m a first-year at Trevs, studying Engineering.
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