The Anonymous Widower

Job Done – I’ve Now Had My First Covid-19 Vaccination

I arrived a few minutes early at the Francis Crick Institute, for my appointment to be vaccinated.

I had booked to be vaccinated there, as I wanted to have a look inside one of London’s new modern buildings.

I was told to enter from the North side of the building. As the pictures show there were no signs, but someone had spotted me and given me directions.

I was directed to stand in a particular place and then told to enter the building, by walking down a set of stairs to the basement.

  • I think my temperature could have been automatically checked before entry, as it certainly wasn’t anywhere else, that I noticed.
  • There was a stair-lift at the entrance, for those not able to manage the stairs.
  • Not that I saw anybody walking with more than the aid of a stick!

Once in the basement, I was asked to sit on one of about ten socially-distanced chairs.

Registration

There were a group of about six young ladies and perhaps a couple of young men, who then registered all those who had come for vaccination.

This was done mainly using your NHS number, so make sure you bring it.

Interview

Once registered, I was moved to another set of socially-distanced chairs, each of which was outside a cubicle.

I was then called in to the cubicle and given an interview by a young doctor.

She asked general questions and some about the drugs I take, so make sure you know what drugs you’re taking.

But otherwise the questions were ones everybody should know about themselves.

Vaccination

Once interviewed, I was moved to another set of socially-distanced chairs, each of which was outside a cubicle.

After about five minutes, I was called into the cubicle to be vaccinated, by a young lady.

I was only asked one question and that was whether I was right-handed or left-handed.

I am complicated, as because my left arm was badly broken by the school bully and I am right-handed, I prefer to have injections in my dominant right arm.

I also told her, that my unusual skin, means I don’t bleed from injections and she wouldn’t need a plaster.

She then said, that very few need a plaster with this vaccine.

The injection was quick and one of the few where the vaccinator didn’t say something like “Sharp scratch!”

I held a small cotton wool pad over the spot for perhaps thirty seconds, but despite being on Warfarin, my skin did its usual good job of stopping any bleeding.

I declined the sticker saying I’d been vaccinated and before I left, I was told I’d had the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Timings

From the time I arrived until the time I left was about half-an-hour.

Professionalism

It was all very professional and well-organised.

I’ve worked in factories and it was arranged very much how some factories are arranged, where the product being built is moved from one work-station to another until they reach Despatch.

It was also very relaxed and unhurried with lots of extra young people directing the patients around the various seats and cubicles.

Throughput

I have done my share of time-and-motion studies in the past and I suspect that, as time progresses, that the number of patients handled by this facility could be increased.

On the other hand, it may be kept a bit below capacity to make sure the relaxed atmosphere is preserved.

A Thought On The Staff

I must admit, I didn’t see all of the staff, but of the ones I saw, only one wasn’t white and she was Chinese and called Ying. Incidentally, she registered me, when I arrived.

A Thought On The Patients

All of the patients were white and with the exception of one other and myself, they were all female. As the patients were mainly over sixty and had probably made a choice to be vaccinated at the Francis Crick Institute on their computer, I find the ethnic distribution of the patients curious.

A Thought On The AstraZeneca Vaccine

I have a regular B12 injection and a flu vaccination every year, so I’m used to injections. The practice nurse is very quick, but the lady, who vaccinated me today was exceptionally quick.

  • She also had a couple of syringes ready-filled waiting for me and following patients.
  • She was able to vaccinate me, without my taking off my short-sleeved shirt and thermal vest.
  • I also hardly felt a thing.
  • I didn’t need a plaster.

As a friend, who also had the AstraZeneca vaccine, also said he didn’t feel a thing, I wonder, if AstraZeneca have designed this vaccine and its delivery system, so that patients can be quickly vaccinated.

Imagine market day, in a very populous country like Brazil, India or Nigeria! Has this vaccine has been designed to handle mass vaccinations in an environment like that?

It should be remembered that this is AstraZeneca’s first vaccine.

I have a feeling, that this vaccine could have been designed to a new set of rules, so that teams can vaccinate large numbers of people quickly.

 

January 28, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 9 Comments

Should Coeliacs On A Long-Term Gluten-Free Diet Have The Pfizer Or AstraZeneca Vaccine?

This is an interesting question.

I believe that coeliacs on a long-term gluten-free diet have a strong immune system and this is responsible for the group, to which I belong, having a 25 % less risk of suffering from cancer, according to Joe West at Nottingham University.

This strong immune system may react to and attack a two-dose viral-vector vaccine like the AstraZeneca, so would I be better off with the Pfizer?

I wrote about why this could happen in Coronavirus: Why Combining The Oxford Vaccine With Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine Could Make It More Effective.

This is an extract from that post.

A Possible Problem With Viral-Vector Vaccines

This is a paragraph from the article on the Conversation, which talks of a problem with viral-vector vaccines.

When a person is given a viral-vector vaccine, as well as generating an immune response against the coronavirus’s spike protein, the immune system will also mount a response against the viral vector itself. This immune response may then destroy some of the booster dose when it is subsequently delivered, before it can have an effect. This has long been recognised as a problem.

It looks like a case of shoot the messenger to me.

The Russian solution is to use different viral-vectors in the two doses.

Conclusion

As I believe, I already have a degree of natural protection from my diagnosed coeliac disease and long-term gluten-free diet and the resulting strong immune system, I think on balance, I’d personally choose the Pfizer vaccine.

But the choice of vaccine will probably not be down to me!

 

January 28, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , , | 4 Comments

French Pharma Giant Sanofi To Produce Rivals’ Covid Vaccines

The title of this post, isthe same as that of this article on The Times.

This is the introductory paragraph.

A growing sense of national failure in France over the inability to produce a viable Covid-19 vaccine has been compounded by the decision of its largest pharmaceutical company to produce doses developed by its rivals, Pfizer and Biontech.

France doesn’t seem to have backed the right horse!

But at least producing doses of the Pfizer vaccine will help to solve Europe’s severe vaccine shortage.

January 28, 2021 Posted by | Health | , , , , | 1 Comment

Consultation Opens On Extending The Elizabeth Line Into Kent

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Ian Visits.

This is the introduction to Ian’s post.

A consultation has opened on proposals for improving public transport services connecting Ebbsfleet, Dartford, Slade Green, Erith and Belvedere with Abbey Wood.

The consultation is being run by the C2E Partnership, which was formed in 2016 to promote extending the Elizabeth line into Kent, although the new consultation does look at alternatives to the Lizzie line as well.

The early plans for Crossrail included running the line out towards Gravesend, but this was cut back in the 1990s, and in 2008 when Crossrail got approval, it was difficult to support the extended line. However, some passive provision was included in the station design at Abbey Wood to permit an extension to be added on later.

There are five options being looked at by the C2E Partnership.

Three of them are extensions of the Elizabeth line, one is improved services from Kent to Abbey Wood, and the final is a Rapid Bus Transit service.

There are maps of the various options.

At the moment, I doubt there is much that will happen, with low levels of commuting due to the pandemic and a near-bankrupt Transport for London.

January 28, 2021 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 4 Comments