Sydney is in week two of lockdown and the spotlight has been firmly placed on vaccination rates, particularly the low vaccination levels and slow roll out in Australia. Our borders remain closed to overseas visitors and many Australians who want to return home are finding it difficult due to caps on residents returning.
I’m not interested in the politics or blaming that’s going on in the media. We lined up as soon as we could and now have most of our family fully vaccinated. It’s a relief. I thought it may be worthwhile to share our experience getting the Covid vaccination in the hope it may help others. There’s been so much chatter it may assist some people just to know the process and our reactions to the various vaccines.
Our experience getting the Covid-19 vaccination
We spoke to our doctors prior to having the vaccinations and weighed up the options. In the end we were confident that the best way of protecting BJ and my parents, who are in their eighties and live next door to us, was by us all being vaccinated. AJ is 18 and because she works casually as a disability support worker, she was also eligible.
Hubby has had his first dose of Astra Zenca (prior to the change in recommendations in age brackets) at the local doctor’s surgery – he had two days of feeling unwell after the first vaccine with a headache and chills. He is waiting on his second dose.
My Dad has had his fist dose of Astra Zeneca at a local surgery and didn’t have any reaction.
BJ, my Mum, AJ and I all had the Pfizer vaccine at the Sydney Olympic Park vaccination hub – I booked over the phone as I wanted to coordinate our return appointments to be all at the same time. It was like a military operation but it was so good to all get organised at the one time. With the first Pfizer vaccination we all felt fine aside from a sore arm for two days. With the second Pfizer vaccination BJ was not himself for a couple of days but it didn’t slow him down one bit. The rest of us felt tired the day after. Nothing major, just looking for an afternoon nanna nap. I can’t speak highly enough of the staff at the vaccination hub at Sydney Olympic Park. They were kind, efficient and considerate.
Our Covid vaccine tips
In case of a bad reaction, it was recommended by our doctor that Hubby and I have our vaccinations at different times. We were grateful we took this advice. As it turned out, Hubby wasn’t well for two days after his injection. I was able to care for BJ and Hubby was able to rest.
If you are booking online for one of the vaccination hubs and request accessible parking, you may find you have a longer wait than if you don’t request accessible parking. I phoned and found out that they have limited parking and they allow two hours turn-around for people requiring accessible parking. We didn’t book our vaccinations to include the accessible parking and just turned up with the accessible parking permit and had no trouble getting access to the car park. I think the two hour turn around is excessive.
The accessible parking is directly behind the vaccination hub at Sydney Olympic Park. Take along your QR code which you receive with your booking and processing will be quicker. From the car park there is an accessible demountable building where bookings are processed. There isn’t much of a wait. From there you head to the massive vaccination hub. We asked to stay together and be processed together which they happily accommodated. We all received our vaccinations, waited the required 15 minutes in the observation area and left. We were in and out in under 40 minutes. It was smooth, staff were cheerful at all times and BJ was treated with respect and his needs were catered to. He’s actually ace with injections so the whole thing was no big deal.
The vaccination hub is wheelchair accessible and there’s plenty of space to move around. Everything is well spaced for Covid restrictions which equals great accessibility. Parking at the rear of the building really speeds up the process so if you have an accessible parking permit use the parking at 1 Fig Tree Street, Sydney Olympic Park.
If you have an adult or child who finds crowds overwhelming I’d recommend going to a local doctor or smaller clinic. While the vaccination hubs are well organised and speedy, they may be overwhelming to some people.
Wear a t-shirt under your jumper to make it quick for the injection.
Masks need to be worn but there is no fuss made if someone can’t wear a mask.
Think about which arm you have it in and how it will effect you. For example, BJ sleeps on one particular side so we had the injection in the other arm.
Additional information since our visit
One of our readers, who works at the hub, has updated me on how things are going since the latest outbreak so I’m sharing that now, “Since the covid outbreak theres been a few changes – if you cant wear a mask (for legitimate reasons) we vaccinate you outside at back of building.
The accessible parking is pretty fully booked these days because a lot of SDA providers bringing people out in bigger groups. But the P3 car park has loads of accessible parking, and theres a free accessible shuttle bus which takes you from car park to front door of vaccine clinic.”
We really appreciate our HWWT community and the amount of useful information shared here. Thank you!
This blog should only be read as a first-hand experience of getting Covid vaccines, not as health advice. Everyone should seek out advice from their own doctor and ask questions appropriate to your circumstances. We hope that sharing our experience assists anyone wondering what it is like and what they may expect.
Vickie Rubin says
thanks for sharing – I was so relieved when my daughter (also a wheelchair user) received her vaccination! Stay well-
Thank you Vickie. It is a relief isn’t it? Just knowing that they have some protection is a good feeling.
Very well said Julie,
Rene’ and I are fully vaxanated had our second dose yesterday at our local Dr’s.
All the rest of the crew are on their way having had 1st dose of Astrazenca and now waiting on their 2nd.