'Part of history' - Gorleston man, 87, receives Covid-19 jab
- Credit: Danielle Booden
"A momentous occasion."
This was how Gorleston man Malcolm Metcalf, one of the first people in the region to receive the coronavirus vaccine, described the scene at the James Paget hospital on Wednesday morning (December 9).
"I think the whole process went extremely well. I can voice to anybody who's had apprehensions, don't worry at all, they put you so at ease, it's nothing to be afraid of," he said.
Half an hour earlier, Mr Metcalf, 87, had arrived at the hospital's physiotherapy gym, which has been temporarily converted into a vaccination hub.
His temperature was checked as he walked into the gym - "That's perfect," the nurse said - and he signed in at a table.
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The room was a hub of activity, with nurses guiding those who had come for the injection through each of the steps.
After signing in, Mr Metcalf sat in the waiting-room.
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Vaccinations had started at 8am and while there had been a slight delay, things were now moving smoothly.
Less than five minutes later, Mr Metcalf was called by a nurse and directed to a room where he had a consultation with a qualified prescriber, who confirmed there were no medical reasons why the patient should not receive the vaccine.
Once given the all clear, Mr Metcalf sat in the physio gym, at a designated seat, where he had to wait before being called to a vaccination station.
There were three such stations in the room, surrounded by blue curtains, and manned by a prescriber and a vaccinator.
While he was waiting, more patients signed in and those already given the injection were signed out.
Once called to the station, the prescriber completed more checks, logging into a national database and finding Mr Metcalf's details.
The man himself sat and rolled up the sleeve of his shirt.
A nurse filled a syringe with the vaccine and administered the injection.
"Never felt a thing," said Mr Metcalf, when the jab had been given.
Once completed, the prescriber recorded the fact in the database.
Mr Metcalf sat again for 15 minutes and enjoyed a cup of coffee and a biscuit given by one of the nurses.
He said: "I thought it was wonderful. I never felt the jab at all. Everybody in there was so kind and so helpful, and it finished up with a nice cup of coffee and a biscuit.
"It's a part of history," he said.