'Go and get it' - Covid survivor's plea amid second jab fears

Chris Richardson, from Norwich, has urged people to get their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine

Chris Richardson, from Norwich, has urged people to get their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine - Credit: Archant/Norfolk and Waveney CCG

A Norwich man who spent seven days in intensive care after contracting coronavirus has urged people to get their second jabs - even if they experienced side-effects from the first.

Chris Richardson, who has type 2 diabetes, says a mild reaction pales in comparison to the potential seriousness of having the virus.

Nurse Maria Alexiou preparing a Covid-19 vaccination

A Covid jab being prepared at Connaught Hall in Attleborough - Credit: Danielle Booden

Worries are growing that patients in Norfolk and Waveney might turn down second doses, which may result in jabs going to waste. 

Health experts have acknowledged that people may experience reactions after receiving injections, including having a sore arm and feeling tired and achey. 

But Mr Richardson, who lives off Dereham Road, believes his own experience could serve as a warning to those hesitant about attending appointments. 

"My partner and I were isolating and I just became delirious," said the 64-year-old.

"A week later I was being taken to hospital. I remember the ambulance coming and asking where I was going and that's about it.

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"In intensive care, day and night just merged into one. I wouldn't wish it on anybody."

Chris Richardson, from Norwich, has urged people to get their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine

Chris Richardson, from Norwich, has urged people to get their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine - Credit: Norfolk and Waveney CCG

Now on the road to recovery, Mr Richardson has had his first jab and is booked in for a second. 

The retired factory worker has encouraged anyone reluctant about getting the vaccine to think again. 

"For me, the jab was a little bit sore in the arm but that's it," he added. "My partner hates needles and she didn't even notice it was done. 

The Corn Exchange in King's Lynn is now being used as a Covid-19 Vaccination Centre. Picture: Ian Bu

The entrance to the large-scale Covid vaccination centre at King's Lynn Corn Exchange - Credit: Ian Burt

"Just go and get the vaccine, for your own safety and for others. The more people who do it, the sooner we'll get back to normality."

As the rollout continues and an increasing number are called in for second shots, health officials are keen to stress the importance of having full protection. 

Dr Anoop Dhesi, chairman of Norfolk and Waveney CCG, said: “The vaccines have been through extensive testing and are safe, but one dose won’t give you full protection. 

North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group chairman Anoop Dhesi was the best paid CCG chair in Norfo

Dr Anoop Dhesi, chairman of Norfolk and Waveney CCG - Credit: Archant

"It’s vital people attend their second dose appointment so they are as protected as possible from serious Covid-related illness. We know protection lasts for much longer with both doses.

"Some patients have said they don’t like the possible side-effects, but these tend to be mild and last only a day or two at the most. They might be annoying, but are much better than the alternative."

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