Column: How I was delighted to joined the Prescott Club – two jags!

Valentine’s Day delivered my first Covid vaccine jag.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 7:32 am

It was at Templehall Community Centre, and staff were constantly told that these baby boomers were more used to Bay City Rollers in here rather than The Vaccines.

Blue letter number two came in this week and with a change of venue too.

Not the old Marks & Sparks in the High Street, not Lochgelly either - unlike some of my mates - but Rothes Halls in Glenrothes.

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COVID vaccine leaflets (Pic: John Murray)

Off I went for a lunchtime appointment only to find road signs to the Covid test centre at the new CISWO.

More confusion within the Kingdom Centre as the old Argos shop is a now vaccination centre, and closed today. Still, plenty time to get to Rothes Halls where I wondered if it was the big hall where so many have played from Lulu to George Galloway, The Proclaimers to Local Hero Awards.

But no, following the one-way arrows like a Disneyland queue, the receptionist gatekeeper near the library at the café asked me to take a seat after an ID check.

There may have been ten waiting, in three rows, all masked, all elderly.

Joining the 'Two Jags' club (Pic: John Murray)

There was a spare seat at the front though at the end and I claimed it. Nobody was moving, so time to reflect.

It was here I met and interviewed Richard Wilson who was performing the official opening of the venue. Try as I might he would not give me his “I don’t believe it!” catchphrase as a soundbite for radio.

Humour was restored though as I could clearly hear what was said via mask from anyone new coming into reception.

Enter stout bloke, Paw Broon whiskers escaping around the sides of his 99p mask, lock down hair and heavy glasses: “I’m in for my Prescott” he said, requiring an explanation to overworked lady at reception. No one but me chuckled.

We were in café area and, in that space, I have seen wedding shows, had a blind date, and I was DJ for the Fife Council’s Excellence Awards -but not all on the same night.

Now though it was the ‘holding area’ before the announcement from the stairway. ‘I’ll take the first seven’ said the voice from the stairs so now we climb suitably distanced to the private rooms above. Hopefully not to the Cryptic Kingdom Escape Room - I did not sign up for that,

A couple of minutes passed and, armed with my booklet of terms and conditions or possible side effects and I’m in.

‘Booth number 3 please’

The nurse arrived to verify who I was and date of birth, and asks of any allergies, symptoms, previous reactions, medications, etc. while I have some questions for her.

‘Do I get a receipt?’

‘No’

‘Do I get the same brand as first time?’

‘Yes’

So, its recorded digitally and if proof needed to fly, cruise or enter Stark’s Park, somewhere a reference, record or code can be checked. I had to ask as in some areas a card was given, but again could easily forged.

The nurse is satisfied so now it is quality time with Robyn who looks 17 but could be 20 and is halfway through a 12-hour shift and so far with just a 15-minute break.

I came prepared, coat off and armless T-shirt - not at all like the bloke at the next booth with his overcoat, jumper and long sleeve shirt, or indeed the police officers who piled up their riot gear and stab vests in order to bare arms, literally.

I took the standard count of 15 minutes and filled in a feedback card during that time – it was very efficient, and I said so. It was over, for now.

Protected as the best that the NHS can provide. Will this be an annual event like the flu vax as new variants immerge, who knows.

But for now, for now I too have gladly joined the John Prescott Club of having two Jags.

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