The only way to get over this pandemic is through it, armed with a vaccine | #TeamBartsHealth blogs

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The only way to get over this pandemic is through it, armed with a vaccine

Fatai Peleowo, patient transport officer at Newham Hospital, blogs about how he feels about receiving the Covid-19 vaccine and why others should consider having it.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello my name is Fatai, I work in the patient transport team, helping patients to get to where they need to be. I mainly work night shifts and have been at Barts Health for more than 7 years.

How have you found working during the pandemic?

Scary. I’ve always loved my job - working very closely with patients, helping them walk and often physically supporting them so we can get them to care and they can get better. I feel a real buzz seeing how our work is genuinely making a positive difference. However, being on the frontline in a pandemic has been full on. Lots of things feel out of my control. Suddenly the close proximity to patients now feels risky and I don’t like that feeling at all.

How did you feel when a Covid-19 vaccine had been developed?

Relieved. Last May I caught Covid-19. I remember we were extremely busy and one afternoon after helping a patient home I suddenly felt unwell. The first thing I really noted was feeling cold - like I was wading around in snow. My line manager took one look at me and told me to go home. Over the next few days I continued to get worse struggling to walk and breathe. Coming from Nigeria, I initially thought the sickness was similar to Malaria which I’ve had a couple of times when I lived back home. But quickly I realised this was so much worse. It was really scary. I off for about a month in total.

The thing which really made be worry was fear for my son who is disabled. His disability means he is classed in the vulnerable group and I was so scared that he would catch Covid-19 and something terrible happen. Even after I got better I felt incredibly anxious all of the time. So, when the vaccine was announced I honestly felt like I’d won the lottery. I actually remember getting an email and practically racing down the corridor to book in with the team.

Did you hear anything about the vaccine that worried you, or colleagues you worked with?

Yes, there were lots of rumours and fake news circulating around the vaccine - particularly on social media like WhatsApp and Facebook. On this planet we are all in the same boat and have all been affected by Covid-19. The only way we can get over this pandemic is through it - and armed with a vaccine. To anyone who is worried about anything they’ve heard surrounding the vaccine, my one recommendation is to investigate, ask questions. Where has the information come from and who? Is this person or source qualified and trustworthy?

These questions are important and will help us make the right decision.

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