9 Apr, 2021 @ 20:30
2 mins read

“EVERYTHING’S FINE”: British expats in Spain share experience of receiving first COVID vaccine

Gll and Jane COVID vaccine
Gill and Jane on their bikes after their jab, showing their plasters with pride

AS the COVID vaccination campaign continues throughout the Valencia region, this week was the turn of the 64 and 65-year-olds.

All those registered with the public health system – including expats – were contacted by text message, with information about where and when to go for both doses of the AstraZeneca jab.

Jane Parker, 65, and Gill Pethick, 64, both resident in Ondara (Marina Alta, Alicante Province) were booked for Tuesday morning (April 6) at the council-owned Llunatics youth centre in Denia to receive their first injections.

Jane admitted to feeling nervous and wary before the big day, especially after being informed that they were due the AstraZeneca jab – currently at the heart of ongoing controversy and speculation regarding its possible link to rare blood clots among recipients throughout Europe.

However, these fears practically vanished upon arriving at the Llunatics centre on Tuesday morning.

“It was very well organised, orderly and calm,” Jane told The Olive Press.

“We lined up in a clearly designated queue area. One health worker took our temperature, another gave us hand gel, a third checked our details, a nurse gave us the jab – after checking whether we had any allergies or if we were taking any medication – and then we were asked to wait 15 minutes in a seated room to make sure we didn’t have any reactions before leaving.

“There was relaxing music playing, everyone spoke English and was very friendly, and we were informed and accompanied through the whole process, which in total took less than one hour. There were even people making sure social distancing was observed at all times, and they gave out free surgical masks to anyone who was only wearing the reusable cloth ones.

“We then cycled to the beach for lunch and had a lovely morning.”

Mum And Gill Covid Jab
Gill Pethick and Jane Parker on their bikes after the jab, showing their plasters with pride

With the news full of conflicting reports regarding the safety and secondary effects of this particular vaccine, the next question was obvious: how do you feel now, several days later?

“I had a bit of a sore arm and was quite tired in the afternoon, but no different from any of the other jabs I’ve had in my life – and I’ve had a lot, because I’ve travelled all over the world.

“Now, three days later, everything’s fine and I don’t feel anything at all. My second one is scheduled for the end of June.”

Her sentiments were echoed by neighbour and friend Gill, who announced her intention of posting a thankful message on Facebook praising the organisation of the vaccination campaign in Denia.

Living just around the corner from Jane is Mary Carol Sears, 79. Mary was vaccinated at Ondara Health Centre with the Pfizer vaccine, and also reported feeling fine outside of “a negligible soreness in my arm, and a slight feeling of heaviness in my head, but that’s all.”

Mary, whose second dose is scheduled for the end of April, also told The Olive Press that an 84-year-old friend of hers felt ‘some quite minor’ side-effects the day following the vaccine, but was fine after that.

Stay tuned for regular updates regarding COVID vaccination throughout Spain.


Glenn Wickman

Glenn is a trained and experienced journalist, having obtained a BA Hons degree in Journalism and Communication Studies with Spanish from Middlesex University (London) in 2001.
Since then he has worked on several English-language newspapers in Alicante Province, including 11 years at the Costa Blanca News.
He is trilingual in English, Spanish and Catalán/Valenciano, a qualified ELT teacher and translator with a passion for the written word.
After several years in Barcelona, Glenn has now returned to the Costa Blanca (Alicante), from where he will cover local stories as well as Valencia and Castellón/Costa Azahar.
Please drop him a line if you have any news that you think should be covered in either of these areas, he will gladly get in touch!

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