For the last year of the pandemic we have been helping our son, Andrew, and his wife, by acting as caregivers for two of our grandchildren in Hamilton two days a week.
Our daughter-in-law, Jodi, is involved in COVID research at St. Joseph’s Hospital. Part of her responsibilities has been testing people who are homeless, or living in group homes. So, despite all precautions, there always has been a concern of disease transmission.
Our lives, like that of so many, have been on hold, and we’ve been hoping for the relief that getting a vaccine would mean. The last month has seen us patiently waiting for our age group to be announced.
With the anticipated rollout of vaccine distribution through pharmacies my wife, Claudia, a registered nurse, signed us up online several weeks ago with Simpson’s Pharmacy.
Claudia was thrilled to get a phone call on Sunday afternoon from Sean Simpson asking if we would like to have an AstraZeneca vaccine the following day — Monday. Yes!! The pharmacy had received doses and wanted to begin with a slow rollout of the vaccine to streamline the process. We had no hesitation at agreeing.
My wife had done a lot of research regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine, and many of my Scottish relatives had received it, some of whom are quite elderly. So we had no concerns for those 55 years of age and older. We arrived a few minutes early at Simpson’s Apothecary on King Street Monday afternoon, and announced we were there for our vaccine. The night before we had completed an online questionnaire, but were given a more detailed one to complete at the pharmacy. Although we had no concerns, I did ask one question. Where is this vaccine from? The U.S. was the answer, from AstraZeneca’s North American headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. So, thank you President Joe Biden.
Receiving the vaccine itself was no different than receiving a flu shot. It was expertly administered by Amina Sayed, pharmacy manager at Simpson’s Apothecary. After waiting for 15 minutes we thanked Amina. All done.
Our second dose is scheduled for early August, but this may change if supply levels increase (fingers crossed). For now, we will continue to exercise caution, wear a mask, wash our hands regularly and maintain other protocols. We would encourage others to accept the first vaccine offered. We want to see an end to this pandemic!