Finally, vaccinated for COVID-19

It was surreal to have received the first shot of the Sinovac Vaccine – the controversial vaccine hailed from the land of what is believed as the ground zero of the Covid 19 Pandemic.

Stickers provided by the Vaccination Team | Photo: Vanessa Haynes – ER Nurse

Many discussions among ourselves happened during the stressing decision week – Nursing Supervisors, Attending Physicians and ultimately, our Infectious Disease Specialist, giving each of their two cents. Majority of the decision of vaccine candidates where greatly affected what is the understood from traditional media. Came the day of announcement from our internal management of a rolling survey regarding our decision to be part of the pioneering team from our institution to receive the vaccination. There are exchanges of apprehension, questions, clarification, and varying comments – somehow, inducing some indecisiveness. At the end of the day, I said yes. It is better to receive the protection rather be caught with the active COVID19 disease proper.

After our quarantine from our post-duty routine swab, we are set to embark on a convoyed journey to our regional hospital, along with our colleagues. We, as medical front liners, felt a bit special that day since we are given high priority during transit – we even counter flowed during heavy traffic along McArthur Highway somewhere in the City of San Fernando, with the assistance of the Highway Patrol Group.

Upon our arrival, our HR team organized us and the process was seamless. We are grouped to avoid crowding and to observe physical distancing. Our warmest appreciation to Sir Rae and his team.

Step1. At the Lobby.

Our names our checked from the roster prepared after we submitted our filled out forms and ID cards. We given slips as proof of our schedule.

While watching the DOH Explainer Video

Step2: At the Waiting Area

We took the elevator by 5 and alighted at the 4th floor. After which, we spent our waiting minutes while watching the DOH explainer video about the vaccine and filling in additional forms.

A frontliner waiting for her vaccination card after the assessment by medical doctors

Step3. Assessment Area

Unexpectedly, I was assessed by my nursing batchmate now a medical doctor, Dr. Joel. I wish I could have exchanged quick updates with him but we have a long queue ahead. Since I had a previous allergic reaction from a tetanus vaccine, he suggested a 30-minute observation post-vaccination.

I am now few feet away from the protection we needed most.

Step4. Vaccination 1.0

After our vital signs were taken, we are ushered to the vaccination room. This is it! The vaccination team even allowed us to document the process. They are even ready with photograph paraphernalia and mini banners.

And then, on my right deltoid muscle – my first COVID19 vaccine successfully and safely injected.

A frontliner few moments after receiving the first shot of the Sinovac Vaccine

Step5. Observation

We are ushered to the next room where another medical doctor would assess us after the initial vaccination. From my end, I just felt sting on the injection site. Some felt a bit tipsy, like my senior nurse. Some felt dizzy and one experienced allergic reaction. After the observation, we are released from the vaccination facility.

End note. It was apprehensive to receive the Sinovac vaccine since of the pending Phase 3 peer-reviewed clinical trial research. Now being part of it, there is a mix of emotions in my mind. Hope I won’t become a zombie overnight, by the way (kidding). From my point of view, it is better to receive vaccination and develop that protection as compared to contracting the active disease. I think I made the right decision to shift my career path back to nursing practice, and having this rare opportunity to receive these doses ahead of the huge chunk of the population.

Our own Head Nurse, Ms. Dith, after receiving her first dose of Vaccine

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