Just arrived home after receiving my first shot. I thought I would write about it before the side effects started to kick in :-)
As I wrote in my previous post, I was impressed with the roll out of the vaccination campaign and how I was able to book my appointments. But still, this morning I got nervous. I was not sure if anyone would be able to speak English at the clinic and that if not they would not want to vaccinate me. And I was getting nervous because of potential side effects. It’s never really fun to be sick in a foreign country….
My appointment was at 12.30pm. As I was not sure how long it would take to register at the reception, I arrived about 15 minutes early.
The clinic is very conveniently located close to Ueno train station in a building on the 4th floor. There are no stairs, so I took the elevator. It opened directly into the clinic’s reception area. A long corridor. To the right windows with a row of small booths each containing a small desk and a comfortable chair. To the left the reception desk and then closed doors to the examination rooms.
I went to the reception desk and handed over my health insurance card, my vaccination ticket and the filled in vaccination questionnaire. He checked the questionnaire, measured my temperature, gave me a number and asked me to sit down and wait to be called. I only had to wait about 5 minutes until my number was called. In examination room #2 a doctor waited for me. Fortunately, he spoke a little bit of English. He asked me about allergies, if I felt well today and if I had any questions. I asked if I could take paracetamol should I have any pain after the vaccination. He didn’t know paracetamol – I already learned that it is not available in Japan – but told me that I could take pain meds, no problem. No warning against taking anti-inflammatory pain killers such as ibuprofen. Apparently, there does not seem to be a world wide consensus yet about pain killers and covid vaccination… Anyway, he then told me that after the vaccination I had to stay in the clinic for another 15 minutes and wished me good luck :-)
I left the room and sat down again. Different booth, slightly different view. Shortly after, a nurse called me into another room. She didn’t speak any English, but it was quite obvious what she expected me to do. Put the bag there, sit down here, free your left arm, turn this way. Then she disinfected my arm with alcohol, but only after asking if I was OK with alcohol and quickly gave me the shot. I hardly felt it. After putting a bandaid, she told me I had to wait till 12.42pm before I could leave. Exactly 15 minutes :-)
So, I went to my third booth and poured myself a hot tea for the wait. During my wait I realised that I hadn’t received any certificate. As I brought my vaccination booklet with me, I took it to the reception desk and was relieved that he recognised it. I didn’t even have to explain what I wanted. He took it and a few minutes later I got it back with the vaccination sticker and the clinic stamp in it. Perfect.
At exactly 12.42pm my number was called again and I got my vaccination ticket back for the second shot in three weeks. And off I was after not even 30 minutes. Very efficient I’d say.
PS: NHK (the Japanese national broadcasting company) has a series on Corona. A recent post is about wearing a mask or not after being vaccinated. Read for yourself….