After a long wait, I finally received my 1st dose of vaccine last week. Without rehashing the country’s widely lambasted vaccination programme, my appointment on July 7th came 5 months post-registration. Granted, the initial phase was rightly accorded to the frontliners and those at risk but the 2 rounds of AstraZeneca ballots shouldn’t have been an online free-for-all.
My designated vaccination centre was the Movenpick Hotel & Convention Centre. Reports mentioned that the centre vaccinated over 9,000 mostly from the Sepang District where I’m located. July 7th was only the 3rd day the venue was in operations and it was chaotic especially in the wide expanse outside the convention centre gates. Once past the temp scan and QR check-in, proceedings were far more orderly and there were a greater number of volunteers to manage the crowd. You can check out the photos I tweeted.
Chaos at the Movenpick PPV just now. The Q went around the block & car park. No one knew it split into A & B ahead. This resulted in time wasted for so many. @JKJAVMY pls engage more proactive staff to help direct the queue. pic.twitter.com/lUfuOPSKbz
— Jamie Pang (@jamie_pang) July 7, 2021
I had hoped for Pfizer – the country procured Pfizer, AZ and Sinovac – but I would’ve taken anything that’s available. I was just done with waiting! Due to the mess at Movenpick, it took me close to 2 hours from the time we arrived to the time we finally drove home. All in all, a tiring affair but one that provided some measure of relief. I was already unrested going into vaccination day, therefore I wouldn’t attribute the tiredness to the vaccine when I got home that evening.
The next day, the degree of tiredness was much more pronounced, accompanied by aches and muscle soreness. There was some bloating as well, although I couldn’t be sure if that was caused by the coconut milk in my noodles! There was no fever but I popped a paracetamol tablet at noon just so that I could grab a nap without the discomfort. That didn’t help much that night as the aches and soreness were bad enough to wake me up at 4am. I went downstairs, had 2 cookies and downed two paracetamols which helped.
A couple of cancelled meetings on Friday were Godsend as I was beyond lethargic (marathon recovery wasn’t this bad!). The bloated feeling was alleviated only after taking some carbon tabs and ginger drink. Fever remains absent and there was no increase in appetite as reported by earlier recipients of Sinovac which I received. Neither was there any pain at the injection site. It’s five days post-vaccination today and I’m finally all good. This article explains why certain people don’t experience any side effects, if you’re curious to know.
I’ll have to ensure that I get enough rest leading up to the second dose in three weeks’ time. I believe my tiredness was exacerbated by my prolonged restless nights and I should’ve stuck to “safe” foods, and no dairy/ice-cream post-vaccination. I’ll add on my experience below once the second dose is done. If you’ve yet to be scheduled for yours I hope you’ll be soon!
I’ve received my 2nd vaccination last week (7/28), 3 weeks after the 1st. This go-around was, thankfully, much smoother than the initial experience. In fact, I was in and out in 20 minutes. There was literally no queue beyond the staging area and I went through the initial screening and appropriate line so quickly that my phone had yet to go into screen-saving mode. Unlike the 1st time, there were plenty of manpower and sign postings at every turn, you’ll have to be Mr Bean to lose your way around. We were also given plenty of heads-up along the way e.g. to ready our app page is turned on, ID cards are ready before we reach each checkpoint.
Due to widely circulated video evidence of injections done the wrong way – wherein, nothing was injected (😱🤬!) – attendees were allowed to video the process, which I did, and I should say the medical personnel readily offered as well. I even spotted the doctor in the cubicle across mine helping the recipient with the camera positioning!
Symptoms were very much milder as well. I slept earlier the day of vaccination as did the day after when I was periodically sleepy. If anything, the arm was mildly sore but nothing significant were noted. The fatigue dissipated by the 3rd day, but I decided to enjoy the downtime and just sleep in. With a short run on Sunday evening that ended up quicker than intended, I can now say that I’ve exited the “side effect window”. The vaccination process is now concluded for my wife and I but my Mom (AstraZeneca) and elder son (Pfizer) will only be having their 2nd jabs on the same day in 2 weeks’ time while the youngest awaits direction from the authorities on vaccination for teens between 11-17 of age. Unfortunately, in view of the aggressive mutation of the virus, I fully expect another round of vaccination exercise in the coming months. I hope you stay mentally and physically well.