Last night I went into Oxford for my COVID vaccination. It was a cold evening and when I arrived men outside on parking duties greeted me with Hi-Vis clothing to direct me into a parking space. I think most of us cut quite a bit of slack for our NHS because we value the sacrifice they make even in the day to day of medical care. They have certainly gone the extra mile for a year to date. They are amazing. We’ve had our NHS for 70 years to date and as far as I know, no one in the UK has ever nor ever will be denied health care for any reason.

Entering the stadium I was greeted, checked and directed to registration in a matter of seconds. I met with a doctor who discussed my needs and health and then a member of staff took me to a team who administered the shot, took my photograph for me and sent me on my way. Including travel I went from point A to B and B to A in about 30 minutes total if I take out any recovery time. The staff were experts at everything for courtesy and administration to delivery of medical care. I can see how everyone thus far has praised the whole procedure for months. These are true soldiers!

I am writing this to just say a big thank you to every one of the ten people who wore their masks, wiped down every surface, washed their hands repeatedly and kept their distance wherever possible. These wonderful friends made my visit more pleasant than I could have ever thought possible, I may be used to needles because of taking my insulin twice a day but I truly felt nothing at all and I was steered through every step, thanked at each stage and given another thumbs up and wave as I left the carpark.

41 Comments

  1. Jim on 8 February 2021 at 2:23 pm

    It’s good to hear that the vaccination programme is proceeding in Britain and that we hopefully soon will be able to return to a more normal way of life even if that normalcy migh not be the same as it was before the pandemic.
    I wish you well and hope that there will be no ill effects of this shot nor the next.

  2. Ludovic Gatt on 8 February 2021 at 5:22 pm

    This evening I’m sad and worried. Over time, attachment creates it, because you are an endearing person.
    I know you’re so close to nature and yours. We are at a distance today, but I respect you, I respect your decision, and I care about you. Hope you get the best. Best regards, Ludovic.

    • Paul Sellers on 8 February 2021 at 7:58 pm

      This is so kind, Ludovic. Thank you!

  3. Jurgen01 on 8 February 2021 at 6:15 pm

    Good news! Thanks for the post. I really appreciated your comments on health care workers, and the NHS. First, my granddaughter is a nurse and deals with OCVID patients every day. Second, I live in the U.S.A. where we have no system comparable to the NHS in Great Britain — so I REALLY appreciate the NHS.

    Regards and respects to all. Stay safe!

  4. Joe on 8 February 2021 at 6:30 pm

    Congrats Paul. The UK has a pretty good health care system. Sounds like they have the vaccination program flowing well. Looking forward to the day I can get mine. At 52, and in the USA, it will likely be spring or summer. I can wait as there as those who need it more than me right now.

  5. Richard Harnedy on 8 February 2021 at 8:59 pm

    Dear Paul

    With delight I hear you got the vaccine, I wish you good health and I noticed your new revent website with delight. I considered you a role model during the covid pandemic and during the difficult lockdowns.

    Richard

  6. Colin on 8 February 2021 at 9:39 pm

    As a fellow Brit I sometimes despair of the mad decisions our country takes and how badly we seem to compare to others. It so often infuriates & disappoints – especially in recent years.
    Yet our NHS is truly something to be proud of. Not just the institution or the principles behind it (laudable as they are) but the utterly wonderful selfless people who deliver its services cheerfully & compassionately.
    I cherish it dearly – sounds like you do too, Paul & rightly so!

  7. Steve P on 9 February 2021 at 3:50 am

    Great news! I can’t wait to get mine, but it will be several months yet, as i am in my 40s and no risk group or anything, so am at the bottom of the totem pole. I hear it may be in Fall that we get ours.

  8. Mike B on 9 February 2021 at 12:17 pm

    Like yours Paul, my NHS vaccination was delivered with efficiency, timeliness, care and courtesy here in Suffolk. We are fortunate indeed to have such people looking after us. Sadly, many in the world don’t.

  9. Andrew on 9 February 2021 at 12:43 pm

    I’ve had mine (in Warrington) and agree with every word you’ve said.

  10. Tom on 9 February 2021 at 12:51 pm

    We have the same type of health care workers here in the U.S.
    Most of my family have gotten the first shot and are scheduled to get their second soon. I just got scheduled yesterday and in a month I will be all done with both shots. We are truly fortunate to be living in a time where we can fight these diseases.

  11. Mike Towndrow on 9 February 2021 at 1:29 pm

    Good to hear of your experience with the Covid-19 vaccination Paul. I’ve literally been contacted in the last 5 minutes and booked mine for this coming Thursday. I’m in the 65 – 70 age group, which emphasises just how well the programme is progressing! Well done to everyone involved with the roll out.

  12. Chris Manning on 9 February 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Glad to hear the news of your jab, Paul. I had mine 9 days ago and had a very similar experience to yours. I have no words to describe my admiration for the NHS and those wonderful volunteers who stood in the cold and helped us both through the procedure from parking to leaving.

    Is it possible, I wonder, that after this pandemic, and their incredible performance, that the politicians will stop taking chunks out of the NHS? I hope so; they are the very best of the best.

    The NHS are a shining jewel – arguably the most precious organisation we have – and I’m truly grateful that they are looking after all of us, including my favourite (lifestyle) woodworker of course!

    God bless

    Chris

  13. Martha Downs on 9 February 2021 at 2:06 pm

    It pleases me that publish your acknowledgment and gratitude. We don’t hear enough of how that works.

  14. Jay on 9 February 2021 at 2:36 pm

    I benefited from the NHS when I lived in the UK. Totally awesome. It’s unfathomable why the US doesn’t have a similar system. I really resent the fact that people make money because I’m sick.

    One thing I have seen is that without exception health care workers in the US and UK are awesome! To be honest I find that the majority of people are friendly and willing to lend a hand when asked. A thought that gets me through times like these.

    • Thomas Beckham on 9 February 2021 at 3:32 pm

      Paul, Jay,

      I live in Daphne, Alabama, USA and am trying to do the smart things as related to health.
      I second your statements except that I have not experienced the NHS since I have not resided in the UK.

      I got the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine two weeks ago. I had a 1 hour wait in the car line before getting the injection. My injected arm was a little sore for maybe 24 hours. Nothing more.

      I will get the second dose on Feb 18th.

      Stay healthy!

      Tom Beckham

    • Paul Sellers on 9 February 2021 at 5:21 pm

      I guess there is more money to be made in the US system. I agree that the UK and the USA and probably the world over it’s the staff that make health care work.

  15. Gary on 9 February 2021 at 3:30 pm

    Glad you were able to get the vaccine and your experience with the folks there was good. I have traveled in the UK many times and on one occasion needed medical care and am very impressed with the NHS system. They were caring, efficient, and as a non citizen I was shocked at the cost of the service and prescriptions received.

  16. Will on 9 February 2021 at 3:43 pm

    I am very happy for you, Paul. Your gratitude shows with everything you do. I wish we had an NHS here in the US. My folks are approaching 80, but because of where they live and a dysfunctional distribution system, vaccine appointments for them are nowhere in sight. Yet I know a number of much younger people who have managed to finagle appointments for various reasons. I guess I can’t blame them – I would get one at moments notice if I could.

    Regardless, you said it: healthcare workers everywhere truly are our soldiers.

    Stay strong!

  17. Etienne on 9 February 2021 at 3:52 pm

    Congratulations Sir. I’m happy for your vaccination. Like you, my daughter, who lives in England since 17 years was vaccinated today. In France I’m waiting my turn, probably next week. So, after more than one year I hope to see my grand- sons, and their parents.
    Thanks a lot for your videos I admire, and today mostly for your optimism that I understand when reading your last visit to the NHS. The conclusion in French (though the Brexit) :
    “portez-vous bien et encore merci pour votre enthousiasme”.

  18. Jeff Wisoff on 9 February 2021 at 4:04 pm

    Congratulations on being vaccinated and posting about your experience. As a physician it is extremely rewarding to see people like yourself, a role model to literally hundreds of thousands, speak about the realities of day to day life during this trying time, show how there is always an opportunity to turn adversity to opportunity, and provide encouragement for all to be vaccinated. Thank you!

  19. john tutton on 9 February 2021 at 10:59 pm

    Bless you Paul , we concur indeed .

  20. jim on 10 February 2021 at 5:52 am

    Great news Paul. I am 70 tears old and received mine two weeks ago in San Diego, Ca. Could believe how well it went and staff were courteous and friendly, over in no time. Sure wish we had NhS in U.S., everyone is entitled to health care.

  21. Tony on 10 February 2021 at 9:38 am

    Paul,
    Great to hear. Stay well, wishing you the best as the UK goes through COVID.
    Your posts bring a small ray of sunshine to a lot of us and I thank you for that.

  22. KeithW on 10 February 2021 at 12:49 pm

    Glad that it went well for you Paul. we are in group 5 so expect we will be contacted soon. Not sure why a small percent seem to dislike the idea of being vaccinated. From a biological point of view it is really no different to using exercise to tone up your muscles. Although it is easier to see the fitness of your muscles, knowing how well your immune system will do when attacked is harder.

  23. Neil on 15 February 2021 at 4:04 pm

    I was contacted first thing today. Booked in for Wednesday. Although like you paul I am used to injecting insulin so no fear of needles with a triple bypass also I was apprehensive until I read this. You have eased my mind somewhat thankyou.

  24. Malcolm Smith on 15 February 2021 at 4:13 pm

    Good news you’ve had your jab and shared the positive experience. My mother and father got theirs last month delivered by the local group practice in a school dining hall. Painless, side effect free, utterly professional with a generous sprinkling of care. I was struck by the mood: a palpable sense of joy. it must be an immense relief to our medical staff to see this light in these times. If I could’ve I’d have taken a flask and biscuits and sat a while to absorb it all. But alas more arms were to be bared.

  25. Simon Cadwallader on 15 February 2021 at 4:33 pm

    Magnificent stuff Paul, congrats!

    My 83 year old mother had hers two weeks ago and I’m so relieved for her.

    Couldn’t agree more about the NHS, so many good people doing so much, it makes me marvel at it all; they are legends.

    All the best!

  26. JohnG on 15 February 2021 at 5:58 pm

    My wife and received our first Pfizer vaccine last week, and will have our second the first week of March. In terms of organization, our city here in the US made the best of a situation in which there has been no guidance and no plan at any level, and the chaos that causes. I’m hoping that smarter heads will prevail, and that the next groups of people will benefit not only from the vaccine, but some better planning, manufacturing, and distribution.

    On a personal note, neither of us had any serious effects beyond some minor soreness at the injection site. All the people we saw at Fire Station #9 in our city were happy to get the vaccine and the medical staff who made the 8,000 people (aged 65 and above, plus some essential workers) very happy last week were cheerful, calm, caring, and professional throughout the process.

  27. Paul Frederick on 15 February 2021 at 7:40 pm

    In America we did drive in vaccinations because America. Didn’t even have to get out of the car.

  28. ahr aitaitch on 15 February 2021 at 7:46 pm

    Hello, Paul!
    I’m glad to hear that you got your first dose of the vaccine. I received the second 2 weeks ago, but I am near 80 and have co-morbidity factors. (You might remember the Scott & White system here in Texas.) My wife, of the same age, is yet to receive her first dose. We don’t understand why the delay.

    I shall refrain from discussing private health care versus socialized medicine.

  29. Kevin McCrea on 15 February 2021 at 7:57 pm

    So I often travel to the UK from Ohio, US for work (pre COVID) and got myself into a car accident.

    My wife finally convinced me to get checked out and I had a cab take me to the hospital to see the GP. I gave my information and passport and mentioned I had health insurance (and was very stressed about how all this would work out).

    I waited for maybe 15-20 minutes and saw the doctor, who checked me out gave me a clean bill of health and prescription for some strong NSAIDs. Turns out I didn’t owe anything and felt I had been looked after.

    I was very grateful for everything and wonder how we don’t have at least a basic level of care for everyone in the states. Thanks NHS!

  30. Ray Powell on 15 February 2021 at 8:59 pm

    Through no fault of the vaccination centre (in a modern school building) my wife and I had a one hour delay while waiting for supplies to to arrive. During the wait I gazed up at the massive laminated sections of pine beams supporting the roof above and the wonderful expanse of hardwood herringbone patterned floor underfoot. The heating was rather high for me and led me to think about the timber expansion and contraction movement through the seasons. Your post reminds me of something I once read that wood continues to work for us, even after we have killed it.

  31. Jon Liba on 15 February 2021 at 9:07 pm

    So glad to hear you received the vaccine and the experience was a professional, pleasant one. Stay safe, and thank you again for all you do to teach and inspire!

  32. Mary Mahoney on 16 February 2021 at 4:19 am

    Paul, very heartened to learn you’ve gotten that first round of vaccine. I can only imagine your family’s relief in knowing you are safer. Stay well.

  33. Max deWinter on 16 February 2021 at 7:37 am

    Nice, you’ve had it, but let’s study the data and not media headlines. We need to open up now because a lot of people less fortunate than you are being ruined by these policies that have zero groundings in data or precedent.

    • Paul Sellers on 16 February 2021 at 7:57 am

      This seems like one of those pretty useless statements that people drop in here now and then. In my world, it’s most important for everyone to have access to vaccination IF, indeed, THEY want it and in my world of inclusivity this will happen because we ALL want to make it happen. As I understand it, ultimately, the Oxford University/AstraZeneca vaccine will be made around the world to supply a global need. I understand that that is already happening.

      • Valentina Longo Faussone on 16 February 2021 at 8:38 am

        Hi Paul, AZ is much easier to distribute (does not require to be kept at -80 Celsius degrees) and costs a fraction of the others (2 euro vs. 16/20).
        So it should be the chosen mass vaccination, as far as we can forecast now.

        In Italy ModeRNA and Pfizer are given to very high risk population, while AZ to medium to lower risk one.
        Teachers, for example, will receive AZ in the next weeks/months. I’m 45: I will probably receive the AZ too.

  34. Valentina Longo Faussone on 16 February 2021 at 8:33 am

    It’s great you had the vaccination.
    AZ is the same one I’m expecting to receive here in Italy in the late summer: before me there is a long line of people who are more at risk because of their age, health or professional risks.
    In this Covid-19 disgrace, we are lucky because science and health system pros worked hard to create, produce and give us vaccinations.
    We are all exhausted, but we are now have more hope than just a couple of months ago.
    Stay safe!

  35. Chris Ussher on 16 February 2021 at 7:56 pm

    Thank you for your positive remarks about much maligned NHS

  36. Graeme on 20 February 2021 at 12:34 am

    Happy to hear of your vaccination. I got mine a couple of days ago at the veteran’s hospital I go to. A month to wait for the second one.

    I think I’ve mentioned before that I was born in England, in 1949. When we emigrated to Canada in 1960, I know that the cost of medical care was a surprise to my parents. (I was still too young to care about that.) Canada has a similar system now, but I now live in the US. So it is a relief that my status as a service-disabled military veteran provides the majority of my medical care at low or no cost. That allows us to be able to cover the cost of my wife’s care – she’s a 2-time breast cancer survivor.

    Back to making shavings…

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