Jalil is an engineer at a clinic in Munich and was among the first recipients of the COVID-19 vaccine. He has already received the two doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine. So he has already experienced what many are eagerly waiting for and what others view with great skepticism and mistrust. Since we think it is important to let lived reality speak for itself, we asked him what it was like.
Jalil, first of all, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed. How did you get your vaccination appointment?
Vaccination is optional at my workplace and I got the appointment quite quickly. My first vaccination appointment was about 25 days after the vaccine was approved in Europe because I work in a university hospital. Almost all my colleagues got the vaccination before me because they have a higher priority as medical doctors. It was the decision of the hospital management to determine the different priorities, e.g. medical and nursing staff with direct contact to Corona patients, medical staff from other departments, cleaning staff and other staff. I am glad that I have been vaccinated and would recommend this to everyone.
Did the vaccination and all that went with it (registration, data collection, etc.) take long?
Not longer than other vaccinations. Each vaccination with registration takes about 15 minutes. After the vaccination, it is recommended to stay at the facility for 15 minutes, in case someone has an allergic reaction, and to get medical help immediately. However, I have not seen any allergic reactions from the recipients at my workplace so far.
Did you have any side effects?
I have received the two doses of the BioNTech-Pfizer vaccine. With the first vaccination I did not feel any side effects, but after the second vaccination I was tired for two days (comparable to fatigue from a cold), but then I was fine again.
You have many international contacts, both professionally and privately. What were the global reactions to your vaccination?
Many of my friends were impressed that I received the vaccination so quickly and asked me if I could help them in getting vaccinated more quickly. There is no such possibility and everyone needs to register for the vaccination and will be vaccinated according to prioritisation. Many of my relatives in Iran would like me to send them an approved vaccine in Germany, such as the BioNTech-Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. At the moment, the only vaccine available in Iran is the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia. Unfortunately, there is no way to buy a vaccine here and send it to my home country at the moment.