On Monday afternoon I got my first Astrazeneca jab at the Glenrock Country Practice-based Federal vaccine hub in Wagga.
I am 26 years old and I have no underlying medical conditions but I have to admit that I was initially conflicted about getting the AstraZeneca jab, I remember I told a colleague in April: "I'll be waiting for Pfizer".
Then came the Sydney outbreak and I was torn - on the one hand, I felt an overwhelming urge to get myself protected as early as possible for my sake and for the sake of the wider community, and on the other hand I was plagued with fears of blood clots, not entirely unmotivated by conflicting government advice around who should get what jab.
Part of the reason I changed my tune was my access to expert medical commentary - as part of my role as a reporter with the Daily Advertiser I regularly interview healthcare practitioners about the vaccine.
For me, the actual risk of contracting a blood clot is lower than the risk associated with the contraceptive pill, which I was prescribed in my early 20s with barely a mention of the side effect.
In the exceptionally unlikely case that I do get a blood clot, I was relieved to hear they are treatable - the chance of dying from one of the clots is similar to being struck by lightning - not something I am too concerned with day to day.
In the end, I went ahead with AstraZeneca because I realised that it will keep me safe while NSW faces perhaps our most serious battle since the pandemic first began and when we recorded 633 new Covid cases on Wednesday I felt secure in my decision.
Ultimately, I am the winner in this scenario. Sure, I may enjoy feeling like some kind of small-time hero doing my bit for the businesses devastated by the pandemic, or for those who are immunocompromised, but in reality I will benefit enormously on a personal level.
Once I receive my second dose, I am less likely to contract Covid, and if I do I will most likely develop less severe symptoms, or no symptoms at all. My chance of dying from the disease will be a fraction of my chances if unvaccinated. If I needed more motivation on top of those I would also play a part of getting the country back to a level of freedom.
For me that freedom would mean being able to visit my baby niece who is currently undergoing chemotherapy at the children's hospital without putting her or other cancer patients at risk. It would mean seeing my family who are based in Sydney again, being free to dance in a bar on the weekend with my mates or to take a trip overseas.
So yes, my fear of needles may have prompted a little cry before I got my jab, but I think they were tears well shed for a shot at a safer, open community.
I suggest anyone on the fence like I was books in a chat with their GP - you may just find the odds are in your favour.
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