James' vaccine story

James is encouraging others to get the Covid-19 vaccine so everyone can enjoy their freedom again

James has been working from home since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as he is in the extremely vulnerable category due to a kidney transplant several years ago.

James story

How has your life changed?

James has been feeling the effects of isolation from friends and family especially during a difficult time in August when his father passed away unexpectedly. However, there have also been real positives in his life as he got engaged during the first lockdown and also moved into his first house. He’s taking each day one at a time.

“The support of my partner has been helping me cope, we’ve been trying to make lockdown seem as normal as possible by still having little treats like cooking nice meals in the house and trying new activities”

What are your hopes for the vaccines?

James is looking forward to receiving a vaccine as soon as possible in the hope that he can get back to some sort of level of normality. He is also thinking about the impact on his family.

“I want my family to be safe and I want to return to being a closer family again where we can see each other and spend time together which has been sadly missed over the last year.

[I'm] really looking forward to some of the big family occasions that have been missed over the last year like Christmas where we didn’t get to spend much time together, birthdays and celebrating the relationships that we hold dear.

Do you have any concerns?

James was initially worried about the speed at which the vaccine had been developed and concerned that there hadn’t been enough time for testing but was reassured by speaking to friends who are chemists working in the industry and reading about the research that has taken place.

“I’ve got that reassurance now from the information available that actually they’ve gone through all the due diligence and they had vaccines pretty much ready to go and it’s just been final tweaks at the end and testing that’s taken the time. I think the information available through news outlets, the internet and the letters we get from the government have been quite reassuring.”

What would you share with others?

James wants to reassure people who may be feeling anxious.

“It’s ok to be worried. Everyone can be worried about these things but try and understand what is driving that fear and seek out guidance and advice that’s going to reassure you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. One thing I would urge you to do is make sure you don’t let that fear turn into the possibility that you would avoid the vaccine because I think it’s important.”

Update: James received the first dose of the vaccine in mid February. The injection wasn’t painful and he experienced mild side effects including a fever, tiredness and sore arm for about 24 hours. He is now fully recovered and delighted to have been vaccinated so quickly. 


Review and reflect

  • What helped James feel more confident about the vaccines? 
  • What challenges and positives has James experienced in lockdown? 
  • What hopes does he have for the future? 


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The views in this story are those of the interviewee. The British Red Cross recommends that you continue to practise social distancing after getting the coronavirus vaccine.

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