A nurse has revealed why she was worried about getting her COVID vaccine and waited two months before taking up the offer.
Toyin Oladotun was part of a team that launched one of the first vaccination clinics in the world at St George’s Hospital, London, in December 2020 – but that was not enough to convince her at first.
“We were so excited to start administering the vaccine to protect as many people as possible against the virus, but it was difficult for me as I had friends and family warning me, as a black woman, not to get it as they were concerned about what might happen,” she said.
“I spent almost two months vaccinating other people and processing all the evidence before I got my first dose.”
Some 6.4 million – 11% of the population – across the UK have not had their first COVID-19 jab yet, and Ms Oladotun said she can understand why they may be reluctant to get it.
“I understand those who are a little more hesitant, as that was me too, particularly for those that their hesitancy comes from a deep-rooted place or a fear of needles, but I’m always so happy to chat to anyone about how they’re feeling about it,” she said.
Ms Oladotun, known as Lady T to her colleagues, said she decided she couldn’t “tell others all the benefits and not take my own advice”.
“I was vaccinating people of all different ages, ethnicities and backgrounds – they all received the same advice, had their vaccines and were perfectly fine afterwards.”
She said there is “no judgment” for those who have waited to get their first dose, adding: “It’s never too late to be vaccinated.”
More than 21,000 people came forward for their first coronavirus jab on 5 December.
She is now proud to have got her first, second and booster jabs, and is encouraging others to do the same.
“Getting the vaccine is quick, easy and not at all scary – I’d urge everyone to get it and to speak to a medical professional if they want to discuss anything they’re concerned about,” she said.