This afternoon, I had my first jab of Covid-19 vaccine, and it was a really smooth experience. Having eagerly registered for the shots right when I was eligible, I managed to get a relatively early slot, at my preferred timing right after I was done with my normal working day. And since I was not so fussy which vaccine to take (Pfizer or Moderna), I did not have to wait too long, and could register for the shot at the nearest vaccination centre to my place, which was within walking distance, or in my case, cycling distance. So there I came, and I was utterly impressed with the efficiency of the whole operation.
It took less than 10 minutes from the time I reached the center to the time the last drop of vaccine was pumped into my arm. There were many registration counters, so I only waited a few minutes at the holding area outside before being whizzed through to one of the counter, where the lady checked my IC and then asked me questions about my allergic history. She was kind and very thorough, making sure I understood every question completely before answering, and tried to explain in more layman terms when she found me struggling to comprehend some of the technical terms that she used in her questions. After I cleared that stage and got my vaccination queue number, I was almost instantly directed to one of the vaccination booth, where a young man checked my queue card and explained briefly to me about the vaccine and the potential side effects, before asking me which side I would want to get the shot. Being left handed, I asked him to jab my right arm, which he readily obliged, and even helped turn my chair. I rolled up my sleeve, looked away (I was a bit scared of seeing the needle, I admit), took a deep breath as per his instruction, and before I knew it, it was done. Not really painful at all, and very very fast. I was impressed. And I was out of the booth, with the full dose of Covid-19 vaccine in my body, heading towards the monitoring area, where I had to spend 30 minutes just in case I got some vaccination shock or severe immediate reaction. It was quite dull, with a TV showing the vaccination promotion ad and some other government health campaign ads on infinite loop, and a radio playing at such low volume that I could barely catch what the DJ was talking about. At least, there was air conditioner, and I brought my book along, so the 30 minutes waiting time flew by in a flash, and they called my name to come and receive the vaccination card. There another young guy explained to me again about the potential side effects, and what I should be doing in that case, before discharging me and reminding me to come back again for my second shot. Wow, they really did not leave anything to chance, and made sure the message was hammered to my brain, no matter how much distracted or dense I could possibly be 😀 I guess many people must have been very concerned about those side effects. To be honest, I did not think about them much, and I really feel it’s the right thing to do, for myself, my family, and my community as a whole.
That was it. Less than one hour end to end. I was very surprised as I thought there would be a lot of people and the queue would be crazily long. There was barely no queue at all. I don’t know if I will have any side effect in the next day or 2, I will deal with it as it comes. For the time being, I feel good, at least good enough to cycle back home, eat dinner with my family, and watch an evening program on TV with my kids. Towards the end of the evening, I could feel some numbness and a little bit sore around the injection area, but nothing unbearable or even uncomfortable. Just like what you feel after you lift weight in the gym for a while. I am ok.
So there I was, back to my normal life, feeling a bit more secure, a little safer, and very relieved. I can’t wait for the second shot, so that it will be complete. Until then, I will just be careful as I have always been, keeping my guard up, and avoiding going outside unless absolutely necessary. Hopefully the scientists can come out with a vaccine for small kids soon, so that my whole family can be protected, and we will be one more step ahead in our journey back to normal life, or should I say, the new normal, whatever it may look like 😛
Last but not least, I just want to say that I am deeply grateful. Thank you, Singapore, you really care for us. While other countries are still struggling to find the sources to import vaccines to fight their new waves of infections, or having to contend with whatever type they can get their hands on, regardless of efficacy or potential side effects, thanks to the government’s foresight, decisive actions and constant follow up, there is enough supply for everyone eligible, and we don’t have to wait too long, and we got the 2 vaccines that are recognised worldwide to be the best and most effective against Covid-19 virus. That’s really more than enough reason to be thankful for.
So that’s it. My first dose went in smoothly, no big deal so far. The only thing that bothers me a little is that, I need to stop exercising for one week, to reduce the risk of getting some complications. Luckily, it coincides with the kids’ school holiday period, which also means I have little motivation to wake up early for my usual morning run before the start of my working day, so not much is lost anyway. And right when the week is over, the school will also start, and normal routine will be back again.