Catherine Tait

Frank’s Diary is a fictional account of a 16-year-old struggling with the decision of whether to have the covid vaccine.



Week 1

I have taken up journaling again. It helps to put my thoughts on to paper. I am a bit worried about the Covid vaccine rollout. It’s all over the news. But I saw a lot of protesters in the street saying it’s not safe. They seem like nice people. I looked up their website and what they say makes a lot of sense. 

Week 2

Dad had the jab and he seems OK. He had to have it for his border job and said some of his workmates don’t want it but it’s just another vaccine, no big deal. I was really worried, but he was totally OK after the vaccine. 

Week 3

Mum had a talk to me about the jab. She reckons it’s dangerous, and showed me a YouTube with a scientist who helped make the vaccine: he says it’s not even safe and is being rushed out! I don’t know what to think. Is that guy for real? I told dad about it and he went ballistic. Mum and Dad seem to fight a lot lately 

I heard on the news that over 12-year-olds can have the jab now, and it’s been approved. I looked up the news and everyone on there is saying it’s definitely safe and effective and it’s normal to feel anxious, but we’ve got to do the right thing to keep each other safe. Why would they all say that if it was dangerous like the scientist on YouTube said? I figured he’s fake, so I searched him up and he’s a conspiracy theorist. 

Week 4.

I think Mum is going off the rails a bit, she’s always looking up conspiracy theories on the net. She even believes 9/11 was an inside job. That is whack! 

Week 5

The science teacher did a class on the vaccine and took us through how safe it is and about herd immunity. I feel OK about it. I told my friend Sam about the protestors I saw weeks ago, he said they stopped their protesting because the vaccine is approved now. I told Sam about Mum and her crazy conspiracy theories… he laughed and said his mum is a bit like that too and it’s because they’re bored and have too much time on their hands.

Week 6

Some vaccines have been delivered to my high school and the teachers and school nurse are setting up jabs for next week. I haven’t told Mum about it, I know she will just go ape sh*t and I can’t deal with that.

Week 7

I had the jab. I wanted to back out at the last minute, my heart was racing but I rolled up my sleeve. I didn’t want to seem like some conspiracy theorist weirdo! Plus the nurse said she’d had hers and she’s fine. She seemed pretty switched on and said she’s done 100s of jabs and there’s really nothing to worry about. 

Week 8

I had to go to A&E this week as my heart was doing massive flip-flops and felt like it was going to explode! I couldn’t sleep it hurt so bad. I felt really weird and dizzy. Mum drove me in. The doctor seemed really worried and they ran tests me on me. I’m back at home now with some pills. It feels a bit better but I’m too puffed to do anything around the house. I feel like an old guy.

Week 9

Mum is crying a lot and angry and always on the phone to the school and doctors. I feel so guilty and wish I’d never had the damn jab. Mum and Dad are fighting like cats and dogs, I hate it. Dad believes the doctor, who reckons it’s probably not the jab and sometimes young men get this condition anyway – it’s called Myocarditis, and it might be a coincidence. I don’t believe that it’s a coincidence, no way. It happened like days after the jab, I was fine before that! I feel really down about the doctor saying that. 

Week 10

I’m still not back at school. I don’t have any energy. I talked to Sam on the phone about what happened and how tired I am. He said he was fine after his jab, just a sore throat and headache. I told him.. So what if YOU’RE fine.. That doesn’t mean anything.. and hung up. Feels like no one gives a stuff about what happened.

Week 11

I am writing this from hospital. I went to the hospital for a check-up and a nurse noticed I looked really down and asked me a lot of questions about my mental health. I admitted I had thoughts about suicide and even how to do it. So I was admitted to a psych ward for a few days 

Week 12

I am still in the psych ward. My folks can’t visit me ‘cos we’re now in level 4 delta lockdown. A psychiatrist comes to see me; there is a different one every day. He asked a lot of questions about how I’m feeling about the world, about people, and what my fears are. He wrote down that I’m paranoid with depressive psychosis or something. He is crazy! I am only here because I got so down about my side effects. He prescribed me meds but I’m not taking them.

Week 13

The doctor told me I’m treatment resistant because I won’t take the pills. I tried one and it made my heart race… Just what I need!? No way. So they’re keeping me in here longer. I talked to Mum on the phone but it made me feel sadder afterwards. This journal is all I want to share this with. The nurses watch me journaling and ask what it’s about. They check on me every 15 minutes even at night. I have no privacy and there’s no way to get out of here. It’s like being in prison but I’m not a criminal. This is like HELL. I just want to go home and Mum agrees I should be allowed to but the doctors don’t seem to like her. I am going to play along and pretend to the psychs that I believe the jab is safe and people should still take it. That seems to be what they want to hear. 

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Frank’s Diary
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