A nurse who helped administer the first covid vaccines at the Royal Sussex County Hospital yesterday says he was overwhelmed at being part of such a “joyous” occasion.
Cameron Bishop, 43, has volunteered for several shifts giving people the vaccine on his days off as matron for elderly care at the Brighton hospital.
Speaking to Brighton and Hove News yesterday, he said the day had been emotional but it had been amazing being part of history.
He said: “I feel quite emotional now I have finished, thinking about what this is going to do to the world.
“I have booked a few shifts all on my days off because I want to get as many people vaccinated as possible.
“We are aiming for 500 a day – when my shift finished mid-afternoon we had already done 265.
“We have had an amazing turnout today, of staff and patients. People are saying thank you for what you have done if it wasn’t for you getting it delivered today people are excited and saying I have never had a vaccine before but I wanted to have this because they have been so challenged this year.
“It’s amazing, it’s incredible.
“One of the positive things about having the vaccine for me is that I’m from Australia, and I usually get to go back once a year, but this year I wasn’t able to.
“I also had covid for four weeks and it really knocked me.
“I’m looking forward to being able to go back next year and give everyone a hug.
“Of course there will be people who aren’t sure about having it. But I’d say to them, just speak to someone who’s had it, or a health professional who knows their stuff.
“I had it this morning. I had it when there was a little bit of a lull. I feel fine, no side effects.
“I’m overwhelmed by the joyous moment all the nurses and the staff and patients have just been so grateful that we can have this and we can move on and hopefully 2021 and going into 2022 will be different.”
Mr Bishop, who moved to the UK 17 years ago to take up a job at the Royal Sussex, said he was very used to giving injections, but this vaccine had to be treated with special care, which required training.
He said: “The vaccine is so unstable you can’t move it very far or quickly because it will change the molecules.
“We can get five doses out and we have to inject it slowly and carefully
“It’s quite an intricate procedure. I feel proud that I have been part of this whole thing.
“I’ve been giving injections for over 25 years as a nurse so that’s fine, it’s the turning around the vaccine itself and how you have to draw it up specifically
“I had three days online training and then more face to face. It’s been quite in depth.”
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