Reality Check: What Happens When You Get The Vaccine?
Vaccination is currently open only to over-50s, those with chronic illnesses, and people working in selected professions, so many foreigners in Brno are not yet eligible. But what can you expect when you are? Our contributor Lily-Anne Young shares her personal story of what it’s like to get the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Photo Credit: JS / BD.
Getting an appointment
My doctor gave me a code I could use to register. I’m younger than some readers and older than others, so it may seem that I got in early, but I’m eligible due to being Type 1 diabetic, considered to be a chronic disease that puts me in a higher risk category.
After registering, you receive a second code to book your appointment. The forms are in Czech but they are pretty straightforward (input numbers in the correct fields). They need your name, address, e-mail and insurance number.
My Czech partner filled it in for me while I was working, and I waited more than one week. He also filled in the forms for his dad, who got an appointment within 24 hours, so we changed the location for the vaccine and I was offered an appointment almost immediately.
Production line: efficient, professional and friendly
The appointment was for the Brno Exhibition Centre, and I have to say I was impressed.
A friend of mine had an appointment at the same time so we were able to chat (with masks on) while waiting in the queue. Waiting in the queue is the longest part, but since the weather was pleasant and I had somebody to chat to it was fine.
Once inside, you fill in a simple form with your details, and they then check your details and temperature. The volunteer who spoke to me apologised for her English and I apologised for my Czech.
Next up, you show your form and wait to see a doctor. I waited two minutes. The doctor asked me very nicely if I wanted to speak Czech or English. I answered that we could speak Czech but it would probably be better if we spoke English. He clarified why I should be getting the vaccine earlier and made sure I had no other issues which may have caused a problem. It was straightforward and professional.
I figure that I could have done everything using Czech if I’d had to, but I didn’t have to. Easy way out!
The final step
Unfortunately, my friend and I got separated for the actual vaccination so I don’t know about his experience, but here’s mine…
The assistant put a plaster on my arm and gave me the injection. For a moment I wondered whether it had actually happened… it takes me ten times longer to inject insulin! I was surprised that it was so quick and painless. In the evening and the next day my arm was a little sore but a day of small pain is more than manageable, though of course, different people have different reactions, so don’t assume that your experience will be the same as mine.
The funniest part for me was the reaction of the older guy next to me – we were told that we shouldn’t have any alcohol for three days and I thought he was going to have a heart attack!
Do you need to be Czech?
No, but you do need to have Czech public health insurance.
Do you need to speak Czech?
No. The forms are in Czech but from what I saw somebody there will speak English/German or other languages. They are very busy but also very willing to help.