Credit: 123rf

Back in December, Singapore got a head start rolling out the Covid-19 vaccination exercise in our fight against the pandemic. In the first few months of the exercise, priority was given to the healthcare and frontline workers, as well as the seniors.

Some things to note about the vaccine: According to the Ministry of Health’s website (as of Feb 22, 2021), only the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 and Moderna Covid-19 vaccines have been authorised for pandemic use by the Health Sciences Authority (HSA), and both comprise two doses.

And if you don’t book an appointment within 30 days of receiving the SMS invitation from the Ministry of Health (MOH) for the vaccination, your turn would be considered forfeited. The SMS should also end with a “.gov.sg”, according to the ministry’s website.

We spoke to Ms. Evonne Ng, the head of marketing for Mizu Aesthetic Clinic at Marina Bay Link Mall, who got hers this month (Feb 2021), to share more about her experience.

She tells us, “I’m in the healthcare industry and was nominated by my clinic to receive it. I decided to get it as the clinic sees a large number of people everyday, and I have elderly folks at home (including a young child, my niece). On top of keeping the clinic’s hygiene at the highest standards, I want to also ensure that I am vaccinated to prevent spread.”

“I think it’s really about being responsible to my family and customers. Of course, I had my reservations, but after much reading, I think the likelihood of suffering should I contract Covid-19 is higher than any possible side effects of the vaccine.” 

Evonne Ng/Instagram
Credit: Evonne Ng/Instagram

Waiting Time

“I was sent a link to a form via SMS from the Ministry of Health (MOH) and had to pick two dates. Vaccinations are done twice, 21 to 25 days apart.

On the day, I checked in at my preferred location; I picked Marine Parade Polyclinic and arrived 30 minutes earlier. It was less crowded than I expected. But while I took an hour for the entire process, some of my friends took between 1.5 hours to three hours, especially at clinics that were more crowded.

I was ushered to a waiting area meant for people getting their vaccinations, and took a queue number.

The Briefing

“First, I was briefed by a nurse about the vaccine and possible side effects. They’ll most likely reject those with a shellfish allergy. For mild cases, the nurse told me that a doctor will check and be on standby.

Then I had to wait until I was called for my vaccination (I guess they took time to prepare and vaccinate others). The briefing and waiting took about 30 minutes before it was my turn.”

Getting The Jab

“When it was time to get vaccinated, I was reminded of the side effects again. I was also asked to choose between my left or right arm to be injected. I chose my left as the right is my dominant arm. The vaccination was done by a registered nurse and it was rather painless.”

Post-vaccination

“After getting the shot, I was led to a waiting area. It’s required that each person waits for 30 minutes after to ensure that they’re okay and haven’t gone into shock. I was asked for my details before I could go and also handed a vaccination slip as a reminder of my next appointment for the second dose. You can change your next appointment by e-mailing or calling MOH.”

Any Side Effects?

“I was fine on the day itself but on the same night, I found it hard to turn on the vaccinated side while sleeping because my arm was really sore. It was slightly hard to lift up my arm, but other than that, I did not experience any other side effects. It took about three days for the soreness to fully go away!”

What To Note

Bring your IC! I didn’t bring mine and although they accepted my Singpass, it’s best to bring yours. Also, bring something to read or pass time while you’re waiting! It can also get a bit cold in the polyclinic or hospital so make sure you’re comfortable.

This article was first published in Women’s Weekly.