Sunday, May 23, 2021

Covid-19 vaccinations

French Village Diaries covid-19 vaccinations
At the Civray vaccination centre

Social media can be a funny old thing. Some people rant, some boast, some just seem to be out for a fight, but we all share and, from my experience this week, many people out there also care.


I had a bit of a wobble this week, caused by the frustration around booking my covid-19 vaccination. As Adrian is over fifty, I was able to look for a date and time that suited his work schedule and book his appointment a week in advance. As I’ve not yet reached that golden age, I was only allowed to book last minute, for an available slot in the coming twenty-four hours. I naively assumed, with three centres within twenty-five kilometres from home, I would find a slot and pop out, possibly even while Adrian was working, and be home to pour his morning coffee. I was wrong. I soon found myself caught in a negative loop of continually refreshing the online booking platform, so much so that by Wednesday the phrase “Aucun rendez-vous de vaccination n'est disponible dans ce lieu d'ici demain soir” began to play on a loop in my head. (No vaccination appointments are available here between now and tomorrow evening.) Every now and then an appointment or two would appear, but they were in places like Rochefort, Royan, Poitiers or Chauvigny, all over eighty kilometres from home. The only ones more local were at a time that clashed with Adrian’s appointment, and at a centre in the opposite direction.


The weather certainly didn’t help as it was either raining, threating to rain, or dry and sunny, but with a fierce wind. Getting out on the bike is a great way to clear my head and put things into perspective, not being able to get out just added to my vaccination frustrations and made me cranky. Having rolled my eyes at a particularly heated post on Facebook, where a fight had broken out over whether our department of the Deux Sèvres was or wasn’t far enough south to be classified as south-west France, I took to Instagram with a vaccination whinge. 


I was quite bowled over by how many people commented on my post with advice, ideas and generally trying their best to help and make me feel better. Thank you it really did help. As luck would have it, on Thursday morning I found myself an appointment for Friday afternoon, at the same centre in Civray Adrian was headed to on Thursday afternoon. This did mean two eighty-kilometre round trips in two days, which is not ideal for people who rarely take the car out these days, but it did mean I was able to book our second slots at the end of June for the same place, on the same day, one hour apart. 

French Village Diaries covid-19 vaccinations
Getting my Pfizer shot


The centre in Civray, who are vaccinating around one thousand four hundred people with the Pfizer vaccine every week, was superb and worth the drive. The spacious double hall is well laid out, and the Red Cross volunteers who run it are friendly, helpful and efficient. The form you fill in prior to vaccination was available in English and French and everything was calm and organised. It is a real relief that we are both now part of the 22,587,920 people in France who have had their first injection. Reports from the UK today claim that the Pfizer vaccination looks to give 88% protection from the latest Indian variant, once both doses have been administered.


As Ed is twenty, I could go back to the continual searching for a last-minute appointment for him, but this week the government announced that from 31st May, anyone over eighteen will be eligible to book a time that suits. He has quite a bit going on at the moment, so I think it will be much less stressful for both of us, to wait a week.

French Village Diaries covid-19 vaccinations morning coffee
Adrian's morning coffee at Les Gours


With the excitement of vaccinations, the reopening of bar, café and restaurant terraces on Wednesday, seemed to pass me by. Adrian did stop for a coffee on his Thursday morning bike ride, while I was on my yoga mat, but it’s been five days now and I haven’t yet managed to partake. Every evening, when we’ve witnessed clear skies and no wind, we’ve planned a morning coffee ride for the following day. Every morning, we’ve woken up to rain once again. Let’s hope this week brings a bit more warmth, a lot less wind and rain and the chance to get out on the bikes, stretch our legs, clear our heads and enjoy a coffee with a spot of people-watching. It’s the simple things.


Keep safe and sane, it will get better. the site to use to book your vaccinations here in France.


  1. Glad to hear you've had your vaccine after all that. My second one is next week, AstraZeneca. They are already talking about a booster jab for the over 70s in September. What with the insulin and glucose testing I feel like a sieve! I still enjoy reading your posts Jacqui even though I am back in the UK now.

  2. Hurry for the vaccine jab! I swear the days I got my two, you could see the big smiles on everyone's face, even behind the masks!

  3. I am so glad you were able to get out and finally get the vaccine. There is much to be said for a little road trip, even if it is out of your wheelhouse after so long -- you can make a bit of a day of it if you choose.

    You sound exactly like Rick when he can't get out on the bike. He is not a happy camper. If he doesn't get in his ride, well, he's just the slightest bit crabby. Not so much on the first day but with each that passes! Tonight is his long ride with racers, although he said that for the first year he has fallen in with the slightly slower group (which I think affects his vanity more than his sport!). But Thursday he will begin a two-day ride north to the cottage for the weekend. That's about 95 miles a day. I suspect unless it pours, he will be very happy!

    I don't know if you've changed over your email subscribing yet but I am going to follow you on bloglovin since Feedburner is going. Thanks for stopping by my blog -- I hope the links in my post to Linda's post on transferring to a new mail site will be helpful.


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