Here’s how the Covid-19 vaccination happened for me, here in South Australia:

I wanted to get vaccinated when it first got happening in Australia. But I was too young and healthy and not a frontline worker. However, my husband (emergency services career), my dad (poor health), and my mum (carer for someone in poor health) all got the vaccination. It was a lonely time.

24 May 2020: It was announced that South Australians in regional areas could get the vaccination. I live in a regional area (just!).

But whenever I did the online test for eligibility, it said I wasn’t eligible.

I thought they just had to update the test. So I did it over a few days. It kept saying I wasn’t eligible. I decide to just book in despite it saying I wasn’t eligible. I’m a rebel.

My closest regional clinic (Tanunda) is 35 minutes away, to a town that I don’t typically visit. But I’m willing to make the drive.

I think I’ll book in on a weeknight after work. It’s not exactly on route on the way home, but at least I would be out and about.

Except that the latest appointment each day is about 4:30pm.

Hm. Okay. So I book in for a weekend, with my next free weekend on 12 June. Not soon, but soon-enough.

I’m booked in! Yay!

So come 12 June I rock up and everything is flawless. Then I ask, “How do I go about booking in my second vaccine?”

I’m told that this clinic is booked out and I would not be able to get my dose in 3-6 weeks at this clinic. It is suggested I book in to a metro clinic. I am assured they will take me, despite being country-bumpkin.


So in the car after my vaccination, I book in on 7 July at the metro clinic (Elizabeth). Woohoo! But of course, they’re not open evenings either, so I will have to leave work, go and get the vaccination, and dash back. So I’ll take a long lunch break that day. Sorted.

Now everyone wants to know about side effects. My body was sore after the vaccination, but I experience chronic pain and it’s hard to know what is vaccine related and what is the ongoing tragedy of my failing anatomy.

Then work decides that I’m going to prison on 7 July (I love saying that), and that means I can’t be vaccinated at the same time because it’s logistically difficult to be in two places at once.

5 July: I go to change my booking at the metro clinic, but I can only change it to a date well into August. That would be past my 6 week window to get the second vaccination.

I ring the information line during a lunch break, but after being on hold for 12 minutes, I had to hang up and go back to work.

I had to cancel my 7 July booking through the online portal.

The online portal is clumbsy. I have to prove my eligibility to see a clinic’s available appointments, and then they would have none until August, and so I’d have to go back to the home screen and start again. So I was looking at Elizabeth, at Tanunda, at Wayville. Finally I see an appointment 24 July in Noarlunga. This is just inside my 6 week window, though is a 2 hour drive from home. I cringe at the cost of petrol and the cost on my time.

Then I looked up the Clare clinic, and they had one little vaccination timeslot available at 10am on 6 July – the next day!

I called my boss at work, asked if I could be late, got told yes, and booked the appointment.

The next morning I made the 1 hour trip to Clare to get the vaccination, which is an equally flawless process. I then drive back to work, which is about 90 minutes from Clare, to get to work at midday. Meaning I had to take 3 hours of personal leave in order to get the vaccination.

If you want to know about side effects of the second shot: if there were any, they were more mild than the first.

Today is 20 July. I am now theoretically fully immune!

And, also today: my state has gone into Covid-19 outbreak lockdown.