“Getting the vaccine is the best way to love our neighbour in this pandemic”

“Getting the vaccine is the best way to love our neighbour in this pandemic”

With the COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out, and people expressing hesitancy to get their shot, a number of Uniting Church people shared their experience of getting the vaccine.

Rev. Sharon Cutts is the Uniting Church minister at Liverpool. She recently took a photo of herself receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and shared it to social media, so as to encourage her congregation to get vaccinated as soon as they can.

Rev. Cutts told Insights that the experience was painless.

“It was over in seconds, and truly I didn’t feel a thing,” she said.

“I decided to have my picture taken whilst having the COVID injection as an encouragement for the members of the Liverpool Congregation who aren’t yet vaccinated to show they shouldn’t be afraid.”

“My grandfather was a wonderful wise man he always said that a leader leads from the front and that’s what I try to do.  My Grandmother never left something that could be done today for tomorrow and that’s why I couldn’t see the point in procrastinating and waiting for another day. And I rather feel that it’s important not ask someone to do something that you’re not prepared to do or at least be a part of even if it’s just as an encourager yourself.”

“I hope to show the congregation the love parents have for their children when they take them to the doctors for vaccines can be extended to themselves.” 

“Finally, when more of the community are immunised against the virus lives, community interactions, congregational life and witness, and the communities general wellbeing can happen easier and with less fear of illness.”

Rev. John Cutts said that his own vaccination experience was “a piece of cake, paperwork took longer than the injection.”

He has since experienced “no side effects at all.”

“Taking into account my age, and underlying medical issue, the COVID-19 outcome could be far riskier than the possible vaccine side effects.”

“The science supports the process of vaccination,” Rev. Cutts said. 

“Look at India where the COVID-19 outbreak has swamped the hospital system.” 

Warren French recently received his own COVID-19 vaccination. He told Insights that he was yet to experience any side effects.

“The usual side effects can be unpleasant but the benefit of the vaccine far outweighs even these,” he said.

“The most worrying side effect of blood clotting is rated at one in 200000, but even in that low probability, a recent article in The Age quoting Professor Sharon Lewin says that even these are now presenting milder due to the improved understanding and diagnosis. I don’t think the risk is any greater than getting a flu shot, and again the benefit far outweighs the risk.”

“There is also the contribution we all make to achieving herd immunity so having the vaccine could well save others from getting COVID as well.”
Tuggeranong Uniting Church congregation member James Ellis recently received his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine.  

“The experience itself was like getting any other vaccine but at the same time a completely different experience. I was vaccinated both times at the “Garran Surge Centre” in Canberra. It’s a huge makeshift building that was first made as an overflow facility to support the Canberra hospital COVID-19 response.”

“Receiving it – there were about eight at a time in each wing, done every 15 minutes. We were in cordoned off seating areas. We had to confirm our consent to receive it. And we received it in the upper arm close to the shoulder. It wasn’t painful. It did take slightly longer than a flu vaccine would take.”

Mr Ellis said that while he understands the concerns people have about the vaccine, he “fully trusts” the Therapeutic Goods Administration to make the right decisions regarding safety.

“They are experts in this kind of thing,” he said.

“Yes it took a year to get one, but we must remember that the entirety of the world’s medical resources were directed towards getting a vaccine. It’s also worth remembering that the alternative is no vaccine which has worse outcomes.” 

“Getting the vaccine is the best way to love our neighbour in this pandemic. It’s not as much about protecting ourselves from getting it and dying – but from passing it on. Something worth thinking about. You also get a lollipop!”

As Insights previously noted, one of the first people in Australia to be vaccinated against COVID-19 was Uniting resident John Healy.


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