I Got The COVID-19 Vaccine and This Was My Experience

At the end of May, I received a phone call telling me that it was my turn to get vaccinated. I remember feeling incredibly grateful that it was finally my turn. I received my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday, May 30th 2021, becoming one of the thousands of eligible Malaysians to get the shot - it's honestly a relief at this point. 

Checking in

My appointment time was at 12 p.m so I did get something to eat before I went to the vaccination centre. Just in case. I brought together with me a water bottle and some candies inside my handbag. Again, just in case.

For the first time, I didn't have to wait too long for my name to be called. I was immediately called the moment I arrived at the entrance. 

I was asked to show my ID and they gave me a number right after that. God knows what the number was for. Then, I went in and I noticed there was a large group of people filing in and out but everything was so orderly. There were a lot of people inside but nothing seemed crowded.

I was pointed to a table with two health workers who have their name on their shirt with Dr. in the front. They checked my blood pressure, pulse and my body temperature. They also filled out my health declaration form for me.

They asked > I answered > they jotted it down for me. Thank you so much, Dr. Yeoh and Dr. Shafiq!

I told them about my allergies, what type of medicines I consume and all that jazz. Then, I have to take the all-filled-in health form to the next station which was the station that updates our vaccination status in the healthcare system and MySejahtera App.

Getting the shot

I was super grateful that it was a super quick process, taking about 15 minutes total from check-in to injection. Before getting the jab, they asked which arm. I got it in the left arm since I am right-handed. 

Honestly, there was no pain with the shot. I didn't feel a thing. Knowing me, I am scared of jabs. I will get super anxious and scared. But with this one, in particular, I don't mind getting shot again. Really.

Then, I was moved to the monitoring station, where chairs were set out feets apart for those who have received the vaccine. I got monitored for 30 minutes, just 15 minutes more than everyone else. They really monitored me just in case I experience any immediate reactions due to my allergies.

There were none (thank goodness!) and once the 30 minutes passed, I was free to leave. Thank you, healthcare staff and nurses! 

The aftermath

After receiving the vaccine and leaving the monitoring station, I felt great. Still no immediate after-effects even after a few hours. No sore arm. No fever. No headache. Everything was perfectly normal.

HOWEVER.

I had no other side effect other than major fatigue that day. I was completely passed out for 3 hours and couldn't make it to my room - I slept on the couch in the living room. And I think that's all for that particular day. I didn't have to take any Uphamol and my fatigue improved after that 3 hours nap.

The next day, I woke up with severe muscle soreness, I think. The arm that was injected felt a bit heavy than usual but nothing I can't deal with. I kept doing the arm circle exercise to ease the pain. Overall, I still felt pretty tired and took several naps throughout the day.

Two days after receiving the vaccine, my arm was still pretty sore, but it was improving. I still felt a bit more tired though but none of these symptoms stopped me from doing my day. 

On the third day, all of my symptoms have cleared up. My arm soreness and the fatigue all went away, and I felt like I was completely back to normal. I didn't experience any other side effects for several days. 

I kept a pretty detailed record of any sort of side effects I experienced in my Notes and how I felt once I received the shot. I think I am one of the lucky people who didn't experience any intense side effects, which goes to show that the vaccine has a different effect on different people's bodies. 

About a week after getting the vaccine, I was completely myself as in I felt super normal, no arm pain, no fatigue. However, the injection site itched like crazy. And it stayed for about a few days and then disappeared. I was told that it was completely normal to feel some kind of itchiness at the injection site. It's a normal immune response and nothing to be worried about.

I Got The COVID-19 Vaccine and This Was My Experience

The second immunization 

Days went by and just a week ago, I received my second dose of the vaccine. I was scheduled at 12 p.m but this time, I went 30 minutes early for my second dose appointment. Everything went so smooth and by 12:15 p.m, I walked out from the vaccination centre and felt so good.

I experienced minor side effects with my first dose, but I was told to be prepared for worse reactions after my second shot. I thought I was super prepared but I was wrong. I experienced the worst headache, fatigue and muscle soreness as soon as I reached home. I felt so weak and didn't feel like talking.

I was completely passed out for more than 10 hours in total. I was up for dinner but it was like for an hour or two and then I went back to my room and passed out, again. 

I was prepared for the worst, but I was completely mistaken. 

I didn't like the feeling of the next day after the second shot. No good news on the arm situation, as well as the fatigue and headache. I also felt a new symptom which the left side of my body aching especially my upper body. This second immunization be hittin' different. 

Three days in, I still had some of that muscle soreness but it's getting better and my arm wasn't as heavy anymore. However, my left arm was completely useless, still. I didn't want to move it around too much. I was still pretty traumatized by the pain. 

And it's now been over a week since I got that shot, and I finally felt fine. All of my symptoms disappeared except for the injection site reaction I had the first time around. I hate the fact that I can't control my hands to stop scratching.

With that being said, there goes my experience getting the jab. I am grateful it's not a whole catastrophe and everything was pretty much bearable for me. I am as fine as can be and that's that. So, please, take the vaccine. It's safe and it could help prevent further spread of the virus and infection. I have done my part to help end the pandemic and it's important for others to receive their vaccine as well when the opportunity comes.

I am now fully vaccinated but it doesn't give me the ticket to not continuing to wear a mask and practice social distancing. People need to understand this. I know this is not what some people want to hear but it remains unknown if getting vaccinated will prevent you from spreading the virus to other people - with all of the new variants of the virus - better be safe than sorry.

I get it. I understand the frustration with having to continue to take these precautions. But then again, these are the only way. We've gotta curb the damage, keep as many people alive and healthy as possible. I am fully vaccinated but I will continue to wear a mask, wash my hands often and avoid crowds. Stay safe and healthy! Let's roll up our sleeves and do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Have you received your COVID-19 vaccine? How was it? I'd love to hear your experience!