Due to the nature of my previous job, I was considered as frontliner/essential worker and thus had the opportunity to pre-register for the vaccination. I remember my company’s HR submitted my name some time back around early March, and in early April, I received the SMS from MOH to book my vaccination slot.
The SMS comes with a unique code that you need to use to identify yourself online when you book your slots. A list of all the available dates and venues will populate, together with the different vaccines available: Pfizer and Moderna.
The queue for the Pfizer options are significantly longer as you will notice majority of available slots are for Moderna instead. However one thing I did was to keep refreshing the page at various times throughout the day and as people change/postpone their appointments, you will see the earlier slots start to become available.
I went for my first dose on 22nd April. I arrived punctually at my appointed time and the registration process took less than 10 minutes. I am not sure if the registration process differs at the various vaccination centres, but basically the first station is where you do your Safe Entry and they will check your identification and appointment time before issuing you with a queue number. You will then wait for your turn to go to the second station where you need to declare your medical history. Following which, you will be called to the third station where you will be given the actual jab. As a regular blood donor and also someone who has tattoos, I would say that the jab is probably only a 2 or 3, out of 10 on the pain threshold.
So after that, you will be led to a monitoring area to rest for 30 minutes. There is really nothing to do, except to just sit there for 30 minutes. If you feel any discomfort, there are medical personnel on standby and staff who are also walking around should you require any assistance.
At the end of 30 minutes, your queue number will be called again and you proceed to the counter to get your vaccination card to come back for your second dose.
I was prepared to experience the side effects after the first dose, but there was nothing significant except for a very slight fever (37.5) and soreness at the arm that developed after about 4 hours. I was fine after waking up the next day.
I was scheduled for my second dose 3 weeks later, which I promptly went. The entire registration process is exactly the same, but don’t forget to bring your vaccination card because they will ask you for it.
I have heard that the side effects after the second dose are much stronger so I was prepared for it. I went home and popped 2 panadol tablets just in case. The whole afternoon and evening I waited but felt nothing. I went to sleep at night and woke up the next morning with extreme soreness on my arm. It hurts so much I had trouble just lifting my arm up. It slowly subsided as I tried to move and swing my arm more, but beyond that, there wasn’t really anything else that I felt.
Then again, the side effects are different for everyone because our immune systems react differently. I had a friend who said he had sore eyes after vaccination but I am not sure if that is even related to the vaccination. I hope that it doesn’t stop anyone from getting the vaccine when it’s available, because everyone has a part to play in this to protect themselves and their loved ones.
In the meantime, stay safe and mask on.