Reporter Alexandra Bull shares why she got vaccinated against COVID-19 and why if you are eligible and able, so should you. (Image source: ABC)

By Alexandra Bull | @ally_bull19

Since the moment the prospect of a COVID-19 vaccination was mentioned, I was overwhelmingly eager to be able to receive one.

I patiently waited for my turn as I watched people my age in the United States and the United Kingdom receive theirs, which frustrated me slightly. Although the COVID-19 situation in these countries are horrific compared to what is going on in Australia, people who are vaccinated are able to live relatively normal lives over there.

Overnight in Las Vegas, Harry Styles took to the stage for the first show of his anticipated ‘Love On Tour’, and in England, Louis Tomlinson hosted a free festival dubbed ‘Away From Home.’ Both of these events required those attending to either be fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours prior to the event.

Image Credit: Music Mayhem

In a similar situation back home, Bird In Hand winery will only be admitting fully vaccinated patrons from November 15. Founder Andrew Nugent said in a Facebook post that the decision was made to “protect the health and wellbeing of our family, staff, guests, and the wonderful Bird in Hand community.”

As vaccination requirements become more common, my desire to get vaccinated has only grown stronger.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison was consistently telling people to get vaccinated, even though when the vaccine rollout first began in Australia, there were limited vaccines available and young adults had to wait even longer to receive their first dose.

Finally, in August, I was able to book my vaccine but not without confusion.

I was one of the many eager people in the 16-39 category who quickly booked their first dose of Pfizer at the Highgate Vaccination Clinic, when they opened up appointments, after there appeared to be a mishap with the booking system. 

Image Credit: CityMag

By this time, I was slightly sick and tired of waiting to get the jab and just wanted to do it, so I could continue to play my part in progressing the fight against COVID-19 not only in Adelaide, but Australia wide.

I quickly booked my first dose on a slow Monday afternoon at work, ecstatic that I was finally able to get vaccinated and continue to protect my loved ones. As someone with elderly grandparents and a step-parent in their early sixties, I want to be able to do everything I can to protect them from COVID-19.

I won’t lie to you though, I was a little bit scared leading up to the appointment and worried about what vaccine side effects may affect me. Although I am lucky enough to be a perfectly healthy 21-year-old, I still think it is natural to have a bit of nerves when it comes to things like this.

However, after seeing my friends and family completely fine after their vaccines and doing more research so I could learn more about the Pfizer vaccine, my apprehension disappeared, and I was more excited than anything else.

August 25 finally rolled around and after my usual politics tutorial on Wednesday, I headed on down to the Highgate Vaccination Clinic, where my dose was waiting for me and I could finally get my jab after waiting for so long.

Image Credit: ABC

Now, I have always hated the whole process of getting a needle stuck in my arm and this was my first vaccine that I was by myself, without someone being there to hold my hand or distract me (pathetic I know). Unfortunately for me, my nurse, who was very clearly just doing her job, did not make the whole vaccination process too easy for me.

Did I shed a small tear? Maybe I did. But was it absolutely 100 per cent worth it? Absolutely. And I got a strawberry Chuppa-Chuppa, so it really does not get much better than that.

If you are eligible and able to get the vaccine, I believe you should have no hesitation in doing so. If you have worries that need to be dispelled, talk to your GP, as they will be able to assist you with any questions or hesitations that you have.

While it may be a daunting process for some people, getting vaccinated is one of the best things people can do for this country to help us move forward and hopefully diminish the effects of COVID-19 on Australia.

My second dose is now booked in for September and I could not be more excited to be fully vaccinated and hopefully be a small part in helping things get back to a new normal (let me go to a concert, please Scomo).

If you are eligible to get vaccinated in South Australia, head to the SA Health Website here to get the ball rolling.