Covid 19 has caused so much devastation to so many sectors of our lives: Healthcare, business, and the economy; resulting in loss of lives, bankruptcy, business closures, and unemployment. There is a great rush to find ways to control the spread, as well as reduce death and devastation from this pandemic, so we can “go back to living life as it used to be” (although I personally doubt that we will go back to the way things used to be, as we have all evolved!). Several vaccines have been developed amongst so much controversy on the science, storage, side effects, cost, and a myriad of other issues, real or imagined.
Nigeria took delivery of her first batch of Covid 19 vaccines, and vaccinations kicked off in various states from the 12th of March. As a health worker/ front liner, we were billed to kick off the phased implementation of the vaccination and I was personally tired of living in fear of catching Covid from caring for patients, so I was eager to get my shot as soon as possible. I was bombarded with all sorts of data, articles, and stories about “complications” from all sorts of people: family, friends, and well-wishers alike; who were convinced I would either drop dead on the spot or develop the third eye as soon as I received the vaccine.
Undaunted, first thing Monday morning (15th March 2021) I presented myself at the immunization center, and to my surprise, there were very few people waiting to be immunized. (I guess the majority were waiting for those of us that would go first, to decide if they would present themselves for the jab.)
I took my place in line, socially distanced of course, and I was given a slip of paper to write down my name, age, and other details. In a short while, I was called to the registration desk where my details were entered into the online database and my picture was taken. I was also issued a card with a code attached.
The nurse giving the injection was friendly and chatty and I barely felt pain when the injection was administered. The batch number of the vaccine, the name of the vaccinator, and the date of the next shot were entered into my card, as well as a huge ledger. I was asked to wait 15minutes before leaving, to observe for immediate reactions to the vaccine. There were none, so I was asked to leave.
On the way home, due to my experience with immunizing my children, I stopped by the chemist and got some anti-inflammatory tablets and used the recommended dosage; because I expected somebody’s pain and probably fever in the hours/days following the vaccination.
As I type this, it’s been 3 days after I got the vaccine and apart from body pain, which is promptly relieved by the anti-inflammatory medication, I am perfectly fine. No, I have not grown a third eye, and I am alive, well, and kicking. I am looking forward to the second dose in 12 weeks, but in the interim, I am still wearing my mask in public, keeping social distance, and washing my hands at appropriate intervals.
My advice, based on experience, is that all eligible people should try and get vaccinated as soon as they can, so we can slow down the devastation from this horrible disease.
Dr Monisola Adanijo FMCP a Cardiologist and Co founder of Naveen Healthcare.
With experience spanning over 20 years, she built her pathway in medicine and cardiology working in reputable medical centres such as Mecure Healthcare Limited, Barnes Hospital, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Chevron Hospital, Lagos to mention but a few.
Her passion for preventive cardiology led her to convene the Naveen Healthcare 10,000 Hearts Project, in order to help individuals detect, protect and correct cardiovascular diseases.
Skilled in cardiovascular diagnostic procedures and treatment, a fellow of the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria, a member of Nigerian Cardiac Society, American College of Physicians, Hypertension society of Nigeria and an international associate of the American College of Cardiology. She also has a Diploma in Leadership and Management from the University of Washington, USA,
She launched the first Tele-Electrocardiogram project in Nigeria and West Africa and does her part in contributing to good health and wellbeing, a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG3) of the United Nations.