What about this for a story of an under 40 trying to get vaccinated in Australia. So old mate Morrison says late June 28 that under-40s can seek out the AstraZeneca jab via their GP. The following morning I call my GP.
Receptionist tells me they don’t administer the AZ vaccine at their clinic. I call the GP I was seeing prior to her—they do administer AZ but my particular GP is on maternity leave. Thumbs down.
Meantime, a shitshow of a week is unfolding. Medical experts are publicly squabbling with each other over Morrison’s off-the-cuff comment. CHO’s are dishing out different advice to people under 40.
Jeannette Young is talking about an 18-year-old dying from clotting in the state of Queensland. Premier AP is suggesting that ‘even the UK Government won’t allow their under-40s to get the AstraZeneca vaccine’—not true but okay.
ATAGI is disappearing slowly backwards into a hedge—its advice hasn’t changed it says. The head of the AMA is like ‘da fuq, wait for Pfizer’. The deputy head of the AMA is like ‘nah ask for the AZ’. Cool cool cool.
At this point I am rattled, confused and, dare I say, fucking angry. Sort this shit out, mates. Squabble in private, but be clear and consistent in your messaging.
I resolve to find clarity by listening ONLY to my CHO (g’day Kerry)—her advice is to seek out the AZ jab if you want. Righto. I book an appointment with the GP (not MY GP but A GP at the clinic). I turn up.
The experience was one of the worst I’ve had! The GP seemed miffed that I was even there asking for the jab. You’re under 40—why don’t you want to get Pfizer, they kept asking, making me feel stupid AF for wanting to get vaxxed pronto.
Not only were they reticent to give me the vaccine—they didn’t even want to talk about it. ‘We don’t want to talk too much about this.’ I was told when I asked their opinion on vaccines. I leave with no AZ.
Meanwhile, my state is recording more than 100 cases a day and I have to watch an ad that shows someone clearly under 40 in hospital struggling to breathe as a result of Covid 19—a virus I can’t get vaccinated for as much as I try.
At the end of the ad it says ‘book your vaccination’—haha wot? You having a laff? Also, booking doesn’t mean shit. I have mates who are booked in for a jab in September! The virus is spreading NOW and you’re the one telling me I can end up in hospital as a result. Timing matters.
I tell this story to highlight the frustration levels among <40s in the state of NSW RN and to ask, did no one take this into account when making that goshdarn ad? (Also, my intention is not to throw the GP under the bus here—they’ve had this ‘AZ for under 40s’ malarky sprung on them just like the rest of us and some have the bandwidth to deal with it better than others. No shade!)
As for me, I guess I’m gonna get the Pfizer partly so I don’t have to think about this any more and partly because GP-shopping for a jab that medical experts are half-arsed on doesn’t fill me with the greatest of confidence TBH.
I used to see Australia at the bottom of the list of countries that have successfully rolled out covid vaccinations and think how in the heck? How are we doing so poorly? Well, that’s how! I wonder how many others are in a similar position to me.