Our Covid Vaccine stories
The Covid-19 vaccination programme, the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history, is off to a strong start.
We’re seeing a steady decline in infections and positivity rates for COVID-19 in Leeds and significant progress is being made with rolling out the vaccination to priority groups in the city, thanks to our colleagues across the NHS and local partners.
Our own LYPFT Covid Vaccination Centre at The Mount in Leeds launched successfully on Monday 11th January, and since then we have vaccinated over 2,100 members of our staff through our Hub at The Mount or at the Thackray Centre. This is incredible news and we are grateful to everyone for taking this important step.
The Mount staff vaccination hub is part of a city wide programme and as a Trust we are aiming to vaccinate as many of our staff as we can by 31st January. This will mean that we can help protect our service users as quickly as possible and start to rollout the vaccine to other JCVI priority groups in our local communities.
Our staff are doing an incredible job to deliver what it is the largest vaccination programme in our history, at the same time as continuing to be there for everyone who needs care. A huge thanks goes out to our amazing vaccination team who are working hard behind the scenes to make this happen.
You can find out more about our vaccination programme, including what to expect, frequently asked questions and other resources in a range of formats, on our Vaccination Centre web page.
You can also hear from some of our staff who are sharing their own experiences of the vaccine and why they decided to get the #JabDone below:
Members of our WREN network have come forward to share their stories. You can watch them on YouTube. Here are the links:
I’ve had my Covid vaccination first dose and I’d like to give a massive thank you to all the amazing members of the vaccination team who are working tirelessly to make this happen.
My appreciation also goes to everyone working behind the scenes to make the vaccination programme a reality, including all the amazing people who volunteered to take part in the different vaccine research studies.
The vaccine has been researched and there is scientific evidence supported by data to show that it is safe.
Please be encouraged, it is safe, irrespective of your colour or your race.
Abimbola Wilson – Research Assistant and Vice Chair, Workforce Race Equality Network (WREN)
I wanted the vaccine because it’s important that as NHS staff we can keep our families, colleagues and service users safe, so this is helping me, as well as protecting others.
When I had my vaccine, it didn’t hurt at all. The following day I had a sore arm and felt a bit achy but after that I was fine.
The vaccine is safe and has been through all the trials and checks that other licensed medicines have to. In studies of more than 20,000 people, the vaccine has been shown to be effective and safe with no serious complications or side effects reported.
Errol Murray – Perinatal Partners Peer Supporter
I decided to have the vaccine to protect myself, my family and friends, colleagues and service users. I’m hopeful that by having the vaccine we’ll be taking a step forward in life returning to ‘normal’.
I received a very warm welcome from the staff at the Mount and was given a clear explanation on what would happen. The staff were friendly, professional and approachable. I felt confident in their knowledge about the vaccine and felt able to ask any questions about it.
There was a real sense of team work and comradery which made the whole process easier and I am going to be volunteering as a vaccinator.
Anne Hobbs – Operational Manager, Specialist Addiction Service
There is strong evidence that show vaccinations save lives from deadly disease. The coronavirus has taken many lives especially those from a African and South Asian heritage therefore, I welcome the opportunity to be vaccinated to protect myself, loved ones, my community and patients.
Please feel reassured that the vaccine is safe and will only enhance your protection and keep you safe.
Wendy Tangen – Clinical Services Inclusion Lead and Vice Chair, Workforce Race Equality Network (WREN)
Just under 2 weeks ago, I had my second Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, thank you.
I was worried as I have complex medical conditions, but I was fine, so please people thinking of not having it, please do and let’s combat Covid-19 #keepsafe
Tricia Thorpe – Trust videographer and Anti Stigma Lead
My overall experience of getting my Covid vaccine at The Mount was fantastic.
The building was accessible and easy to find. When I arrived at my appointment slot in the afternoon, there was a queue of around 10 people before me, but this moved along quite quickly. The lady at the main entrance door was very pleasant and warming, I could see the area had been cleaned thoroughly before and after each person. Both ladies were helpful when asked any questions. They made me feel at ease.
The doctor that I saw answered my questions clearly and made sure I felt comfortable getting the vaccine. The gentleman who gave me the vaccine was superb, he was warm, friendly and knew what he was doing (I think his name was Graham). I was very pleased to see/hear that we were given some time afterwards to check that we were ok after the vaccine – again this system worked very well.
I chose to get the vaccine to protect myself and those around me. My role is a face to face role and I’ve found it particularly difficult not being able to fulfil this role in the past 10 months due to not being able to see people face to face. I also want to protect my loved ones, not seeing my grandparents like many others has been very tough, they have recently had their first vaccines which is great news. By seeing me get mine this helped make them feel comfortable.
I could go on and on, but I honestly can’t thank all staff involved enough! They’re all doing a brilliant job!
Gemma Stones – Memory Support Worker
Losing a close friend to COVID during the early stages of the pandemic made me realise the seriousness of the disease and the need for a robust approach to ending the spread of the virus. It was clear early on that lockdowns were only going to be a temporary measure for minimising the rate of infections and never a plan out of the pandemic. From my perspective, this indicated an urgent need for rapid development of an effective vaccine or ensuring achievement of herd immunity by allowing a controlled fraction of the population to get infected while isolating those with underlying conditions and the elderly. These two options really made me uncomfortable.
Firstly, both my husband and I could be considered ‘vulnerable’ due to underlying conditions, therefore the option of relying on heard immunity was unsettling, more so considering that we are both frontline staff. Secondly, the rate at which the coronavirus was spreading meant there was little time for a safe vaccine to be developed and fully trialled – this particularly worried me. These fears were compounded by the fact that I work with groups that are more vulnerable than me, which include the elderly and those with serious underlying conditions, most of whom need to be protected. This means that protecting myself and minimising the risk of getting infected by coronavirus is of paramount importance. The news on success of trials from the three front runner vaccines was a breath of fresh air, though a short-lived one. Soon after announcement of the successful trials, social media was awash with both conspiracies and genuine concerns surrounding the rapid development of the vaccines and lack of long-term studies. I was particularly concerned about the mRNA vaccines as they were reported to cause alteration of one’s DNA. Through discussions with more knowledgeable colleagues and our network, I was able to quickly understand how the vaccines work, which helped convince my husband and I to take the vaccine. It was however after my son and his wife tested positive for COVID during the Christmas holidays (we decided not to meet for Christmas, fortunately!) that I realised it was time to book for my jab.
Being vaccinated means I can now practice more effectively and provide my patients with the safest care knowing that I do not risk infecting them while providing care. More importantly, I will soon be able to safely meet my children and grandchildren – I am certainly encouraging them to take the vaccination offer as soon as it comes. To all those who are concerned about taking the vaccine, my advice is speak to your GP and only take/share information from credible sources such as the NHS and gov.uk websites – there is a lot of misinformation on the internet. I have also often heard younger people suggesting that they won’t take the vaccine because COVID is not killing many young people, if not for you, please do it for the vulnerable population.
Farai Makanyire – Staff Nurse
I had my COVID 19 vaccine (AstraZeneca) at The Mount. The staff were all brilliant, more specifically Victoria who made me feel at ease when going through my form and John who administered my jab. I didn’t even feel it.
Thanks guys you are just amazing!!
Melba Nyambe Mangolwa – Locum Speciality Doctor
I have chosen to be vaccinated to save lives of those I love and care about and the wider society.
Aqila Choudhry MBE – Mental Health Act Manager and MD of Love In Care, Leeds
Hello my name is Gina and I have had my Covid-19 vaccine.
I wanted to have the vaccine to help keep everyone safe and in particular my husband as he is diabetic and over 60.
I am pleased to say I had no side effects from the vaccine. I trust the vaccine to be safe and was prepared that if I did have any side effects it would be far better to reduce the risk of catching Covid or should I be unfortunate enough to be infected I will not be as poorly.
Gina White – Medical Directorate Manager
I know for many, to have or not to have the vaccine is not a straightforward decision, especially for people from BAME communities, of which I am a member. Our reluctance is shaped by history, our experience of racism, our religious views, our mistrust of those in positions of power. But having said this, I would urge all my BAME brothers and sisters to set aside some time to reconsider your reluctance and to seek out others from our community who like me are willing to take the vaccine. Don’t bottle up your thoughts, beliefs or fears! They are important and valid. I have found reflections and counselling really useful when I have needed to find clarity and unbiased support. If the focus of your doubt or fear is based on your history or experience of racism, ask yourself, ‘Is that relevant to the current situation in relation to this pandemic?’
On the 25th of January 2021, acknowledging that nothing is risk-free, I caught a taxi to the Mount Hospital and was greeted by trained and friendly staff. I had the vaccine, which was pain-free. I’ve experienced no side-effects to date.
A few days later, I was in the kitchen with my daughter, and I told her that I had had the vaccine. She looked at me with wide eyes and seeing that I was still in one piece and wasn’t reduced to a vegetable, she gave me a hug and told me that I looked OK. I told her that she was next. She smiled and nodded. She is now considering getting the vaccine herself in the near future.
I am now looking forward to the day when I am able to spend time with my family and friends. I long to go out for a drink, attend a church service and go on holiday! But most of all, I can’t wait to embrace my mum.
I know that by having the vaccine, I will have contributed to us enjoying the gifts of life that we so took for granted before the pandemic! Keep safe my friends and take care – our lives are precious!
Dympna Edwin – Senior Occupational Therapist
Vaccine Stories across our Social Media channels
Use the arrows to scroll the stories our staff have shared across our Facebook and Twitter channels: