This Little Piggy

To aid me in my aim to live longer, I went for my swine flu jab yesterday.  They had it down to a fine art.  The appointment was for 11.28am.  I was seen on time by the practice nurse and the whole thing took about two to four minutes.  In fact the longest time was spent sitting in the waiting area after the shot, 15 minutes was suggested, to make sure there was no adverse effect.

I have listened to many conflicting reports about the whole swine flu saga in the past few months.  Worries about how many injections are needed, side effects, and of course the usual horror stories that go the rounds at a time like this.  I have decided to share with you how I found the whole procedure.  It was painless, and it was FREE thanks to the NHS.

There were two nurses in the surgery one sat at the computer screen with my records on view.  The usual checks were made.. name, age, present conditions and if I have had any confirmed severe allergy to previous vaccines or from exposure to egg products.

Both nurses took notes of the name of the vaccine used, batch number & expiry date, the arm injected, to days date, and my name.  I was given written record to take away with me.

There are two different brands of vaccine – Pandemrix and Celvapan.  The Pandemrix vaccine is prepared in hens’ eggs in the same way that seasonal flu vaccines are.  The Celvapan vaccine is not prepared using eggs.  Many people given the Pandemrix vaccine will need one dose.  People who have the Celvapan vaccine will need two doses three weeks apart.  People who have a severely compromised immune system are given the double dose vaccine.

All vaccinations can produce side-effects such as redness, soreness and swelling at the site of the injection.  Flu vaccines can cause symptoms like fever, headache and muscle aches, but they are much milder than the flu itself and usually only last a day or so.

The information is available here in alternative formats and other languages.

So folks if I am still alive… I’ll be back at the new time of 3pm GMT for the latest episode of Loose Blogging from the Consortium.

14 thoughts on “This Little Piggy

  1. markvader

    I got mine on Tuesday,

    Didn’t get the same level of service as yourself, but all it all it went smoothly, just running about 20mins late

    No piggy symptoms to speak of, just pain around the injection site in my shoulder and swelling.

    Could be worse, I don’t oink.

  2. Grannymar Post author

    Hi Mark, good to hear from you. I am pleased all went well for you on Tuesday. So far I am problem free.

  3. steph


    Glad to hear you are problem free.

    The contrast between the efficiency of the NHS and my GP’s surgery ‘down South’ couldn’t be greater.

    When I phoned the surgery, I was given a date and told to turn up between 4-5pm. I arrived at 4pm and was asked to complete a consent form and then instructed to wait until I was called. I took my place amongst rows of people queueing up to see the doctors.

    Almost an hour later, the practice nurse opened her door and asked the first five people to queue up outside her door. We were told that our consent forms were in numerical order. This was when the fun started!

    Our consent forms had come from two different batches and the numbers didn’t correlate 🙄 By this stage, I hadn’t a clue who’d come in ahead of me as the waiting room was packed. It was basically a free-for-all and I was lucky to get my turn about 30 mins later. I finally left the surgery two hours after I’d arrived.

    Despite this cock-up in administration, I remain very grateful to have received this vaccine. I would much rather sit-out the mild side effects which occurred the following day, rather than have to face the prospect of going down with nasty dose of flu.

    There is still no news emanating from the HSE as to whether or not a second dose will be required 🙄

  4. Grannymar Post author

    Steph, prevention is the road to go in these situations. I hope the side effects are very short term.

  5. Grannymar Post author

    WWW, thankfully we had an area set aside for those awaiting the flu vaccine with plenty of space to move freely

  6. Darlene

    We are still having shortages and my doctor hasn’t gotten his vaccine in yet. As long as there are shortages I am not going to get the shot because I think the children should be covered first, or those with immune issues. I will wait until there is plenty and then get vaccinated.

  7. Grannymar Post author

    Darlene, I am considered to be ‘At risk’, so therefore I was called for the annual flu and swine flu vaccines. Since I live alone I accepted. Without the vaccine a full blown flu would cause major upset not alone for me but for Elly too. Hopefully I will not need to disrupt her life, work and fun again for many a long year.

  8. Alice

    Your NHS makes our system in America look and sound more ridiculous than ever. I’ve (half) jokingly wished you could be my neighbor so we could play together (I think we’d have fun) in our second childhoods, but when I reconsider it, I think you’d really miss the NHS you have there.

  9. Grannymar Post author

    Alice, The NHS is one reason why I stay here in the North of Ireland. I have always found it a wonderful service.

  10. Baino

    Both my in laws had a flu vaccine last week and we rang last night. They’re sick as dogs and in bed with the flu! Go figure. I think it’s wise for those who are vulnerable but clearly Swine Flu has not been as big an issue here as first thought, even though the vaccine’s free, the bug seems to have moved north! Sorry about that.

  11. Grannymar Post author

    Baino, Tjhey use a dead vaccine, therefore it does not give people the flu. They might have mild flu-like symptoms, but it is nothing compared to the real thing.

    I won’t thank you for sending us the bugs! 😉 You stay well.

  12. bikehikebabe

    Here’s what pisses me: Yesterday I heard on the news that several million Swine Flu vaccines were being sent by the USA to Afganistan, now. That’s great because they drink out of puddles & such & that flu is rampant there, BUT what about us in the USA? Our nurses at the hospital haven’t got their vaccines yet even.This is a small town, 18,000, but we had one teen die here a couple months ago & she worked in the DELI DEPT. at our one & only grocery store.

  13. Grannymar Post author

    Most of the deaths here in Northern from swine flu are among people with underlying health problems. The five to fourteen age group, seem to have been hit particularly badly.


A penny for your thoughts...