Last week, the UK has started offering free vaccination to the public as part of the government’s latest measures in dealing with the pandemic.
In line with this, one Filipino health worker in the UK was among the first batch of people who received the Pfizer-made COVID-19 vaccine.
WATCH: UK-Based Filipino Nurse Details Experience of Being Among First Recipients of COVID-19
48-year-old John Pelayo, who’s been working as a healthcare worker in the UK for 18 years, was selected to be one of the first recipients of the vaccine under the UK’s free public vaccination drive, giving priority to front liners in the country.
John works as a scope coordinator at the Endoscopy section of the Chesterfield Royal Hospital in Chesterfield in Derbyshire, London. His wife, Aileen, works as a nurse in the same hospital.
When John received a call asking him if he would like to take a slot for the vaccination, he did not have any second thoughts and immediately accepted the offer. He said that he’s been waiting for this opportunity when the vaccine would be available, especially for them, who are working in the frontlines.
As healthcare workers, they are directly exposed to the risks and dangers of the virus, as most of the patients they have been accommodating have been infected by the virus.
In fact, earlier in March this year, John and his wife both tested positive for COVID-19. Fortunately, both of them only exhibited mild symptoms. So the arrival of the vaccine before year-end was a great blessing to John, and to the thousands of frontline workers who are risking their lives day in and day out.
Free Public Vaccination Rolled Out by the UK Gov’t
According to John, the process of getting finally vaccinated was quite meticulous, especially since it was the very first time to roll out a new drug for COVID-19.
First, they had to register online with the NHS to get the vaccine. After being selected, they were interviewed by a registered pharmacist to check for any contraindications for the drug. After passing the screening, they explained in great detail how the drug works as well as the possible side effects to be experienced after receiving the shot.
John said that the possible side effects of the drug are: headache, fever, tiredness, and dryness of the throat. The shot was just like getting a regular flu shot. And fortunately for John and the others who received the vaccine, the only thing they experienced was tiredness and mild sweating. John also shared that they’re just waiting for an email confirmation from the NHS for his wife’s turn to receive the shot.
In three weeks’ time, John will be receiving the booster shot of the vaccine. In the meantime, those who received the vaccine are still required to observe “minimum health precautions” such as observing physical distancing, the use of face masks, and frequent handwashing, following the announcement of the World Health Organization (WHO) that the vaccine will not end the pandemic soon.
Catch the complete video report posted by GMA News Online via YouTube: