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'I've vaccinated a fair few folk against Covid'

Time and date:2010-12-5 17:23:32  author:Press center8   source:Press center7  view:  comment:0
Content summary:The nurse who was in the team delivering nearly 500,000 vaccine doses in Dumfries and Galloway. Internet

They are closing in on 500,000 Covid vaccinations in Dumfries and Galloway over the past two years.

The area has one of the highest rates of delivery in mainland Scotland.

Annan-based senior immunisation nurse Jane Naylor has played a significant part in carrying out that programme across the region.

She has not kept count of how many people she has vaccinated but it runs to thousands. "I've jabbed a fair few folk, put it that way," she said.

Covid shook up her life as an immunisation nurse.

"We were a very small team of maybe about 15 to 20 people," she said.

"We worked quietly behind the scenes, vaccinating children, the elderly - you know - everything from the cradle to the grave.

"We were so small that nobody really knew about us - we just got on with it and protected everybody."

That was before it "all kicked off" and the team was switched to carrying out Covid swab tests in April 2020.

"I must admit we were absolutely petrified because it was scary - we didn't know what to expect really," she said.

"There were days when we we just stood and we cried because we just thought: 'I don't want to come into work - I really don't'.

"But we did, we came in and we saw some really poorly people driving up in cars, got them tested and away they went."

Of their normal work, only baby vaccinations carried on - everything else was put on hold until the first Covid vaccines came out in December that year.

"Even that was scary times," said Jane.

"We weren't quite sure what to expect from this Pfizer vaccine because we were told you can't move it once you have mixed it up.

"You felt as if you had like a ticking time bomb in your hands, thinking I'd better not move that as if it was going to explode or something."

She went out into care homes and then to vaccination centres at Mountainhall in Dumfries and the Newington Sports Centre in Annan.

Jane said it was great to be able to give out vaccines.

"That was brilliant, that was amazing - we just thought thank goodness for that because we are going to protect people and as a nurse that's what you want to do," she said.

"You want to make people well, you want to keep them well, you want to make them feel safe.

"It was an absolute relief, not only for us - but I think for the general public as well, to say thank goodness, we're actually going to see a light at the end of the tunnel."

She moved from delivering vaccinations to overseeing the whole project but reckons she must have administered thousands of injections over the past two years.

A team of seven or eight at the Newington Sports Centre would deal with about 400 people a day.

"On average we would probably do about 60 people a day and that was five days a week so you would be doing, you know, over 300-a-week," she said.

"There's probably people that have done a lot more than me."

As well as at the main centres, the team travelled across the area to Canonbie, Langholm, Moffat, Lockerbie and Lochmaben.

She said people in Dumfries and Galloway had been great - although there were exceptions.

"You get people that come in that are quite argumentative actually," she said.

"They come in and they say: 'I'm not having that vaccine'.

"I try to explain to my patients these diseases haven't gone away - your dyptheria, tetanus, polio, whooping cough - it is just that we have protected ourselves against the worst of those symptoms."

She said it was all about giving a "positive message" about vaccines and, now, encouraging people not to give in to "vaccine fatigue".

"A little jab in your arm to save your life - I don't think that's much to ask," she said.

"We are not asking you to run a marathon, we are just asking you to sit down, listen to us for a couple of minutes, get a jab and bye-bye and thank you very much."

She said that Scotland's response had been impressive.

"We've just stepped up and done it and that's it," she said.

"You know it just has to be done.

"And that's a great attitude to have - it is very Scottish - come on, just get on with it."

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