Iain Thompson, 32, works as a Studio Manager at a Newcastle creative agency and lives in Cramlington with his wife Emma, 31, daughter Ellie aged 6 and son Finn aged 4. Both Iain and Emma contracted Covid within weeks of receiving their second AstraZeneca jab. Without both doses, Iain worries their Covid experience would have been far worse.
Now fully recovered, Iain is sharing his story to highlight that getting both doses of the vaccine reduces your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from Covid. To encourage everyone in the North East to get their vaccine to protect themselves and their local communities.
“On Saturday 19th June, less than two weeks since my second jab, I woke up thinking I had a cold, with congestion and a bad head. In the shower I couldn’t smell my shampoo. I knew right away I had to take a lateral flow test.
My test was positive. Luckily, we’d just taken time off to pack up to move into my in-law’s house, as we’d just sold our first family home to buy off-plan. I hadn’t been around anyone outside our household.
I got a PCR test at Cramlington Fire Station, which came back positive within 24-hours. My in-laws stayed in their caravan while we self-isolated at their house for 10-days.
Monday morning I woke up with two massive ulcers at the back of my throat, which lasted 7-days. Then on Tuesday, my wife’s birthday, she tested positive. I felt awful as she couldn’t celebrate her 30th last year either, due to lockdown.
Emma and I took it in turns to rest whilst the other looked after the kids. By Friday, my headaches and congestion eased. But Emma didn’t feel 100% for two weeks, mainly because of the fatigue.
Thankfully the kids only had a slight temperature and cough but apart from that they were totally fine. Both of them understood we were ill because of Covid. Ellie was really intrigued. She took her lateral flow tests with Emma and wanted to help us.
Although there’s a reduced risk of contracting Covid after getting both doses we knew it was still a possibility. We’re both really glad we were double jabbed as it reduces the risk of becoming seriously ill and going into hospital. Many might think that wouldn’t happen to us in our early 30s, but I worried it would.
Covid has no preference. It can affect anyone of any age. That’s why we need to remain vigilant and get both doses of the vaccine. Without it I’d feel as anxious and as scared as I did at the start of the pandemic.
Getting the vaccine, especially the AstraZeneca jab, wasn’t an easy choice for my wife as at age 16 she suffered from a blood clot. But for her, the benefits outweighed the ‘what if’s?’.
If you’re able to, get the vaccine. Yes, you might still get Covid like I did, but it can save your life as well as protect those around you. Vulnerable people are not just the older generation. A ‘younger’ person sitting on the Metro could have Crohn's disease or be recovering from cancer. So it’s vital people of all ages get the vaccine.
As we’re getting back ‘to normal’ we need to be considerate, cautious and kind to one another. For some, the Covid restrictions lifting is causing them real anxiety.
We need to support each other right now, more than ever. I understand there are no legal restrictions now, but why not keep up some of the good behaviours we’ve learnt over the past 18 months if it protects loved ones, colleagues and the North East as a whole?
When people are still becoming seriously ill and infection rates are rising in the North East, let's continue to look after each other - it’s the right thing to do.”