My COVID-19 vaccination experience

The process of vaccination was quick and efficient, and the trained healthcare workers made me feel comfortable.

Khalisa Zulkiflee

Creative writer and comedian on the side.

Published: 2 August 2021, 11:55 AM

Fever, bodyache, fatigue, headache and nausea. While I knew of the potential side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine prior to taking it, nothing had prepared me for what came next. 

For both doses, I was sick for three straight days, which was a little extreme compared to the people around me. My peers had merely felt fatigued after their first doses and fever and headache after their second doses for a day or two at most. 

Even two pills of panadol didn’t do the trick. I had to visit my family doctor both times, who prescribed me cough syrup, painkillers and pills for nausea relief. And when I couldn’t swallow the pills, he gave me panadol in the form of syrup (which are more for kids) instead.

Oh, and he also advised me to get plenty of bed rest. 

It was agonising for me to stay curled up in bed all day and night, however. I felt very weak and it took a lot of strength to walk to the bathroom and the kitchen. As a result, I didn’t eat much during those three days. 

The side effects were easily the worst part of the entire vaccination process. Getting it was fast and seamless. 


I was guided into the hall at my Community Centre and seated in front of a registration station. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/KHALISA ZULKIFLEE


It took less than five minutes to just get my jabs, both times. 

At the vaccination centre, the lady at the counter asked me several questions to ensure I was fit and eligible for the vaccination, and called my mother to make sure my parents were aware of my decision to get vaccinated alone. After getting parental consent, she handed me a piece of paper and kindly instructed me to head towards the row of closed cubicles at the back of the hall. 

An usher smilingly waved me into a cubicle, holding the curtains back for me. When I entered, I was greeted with a cheery good morning from the healthcare worker, who would then ask me the same set of questions before giving me my jab.


Noting that it was my first jab, he walked me through the process of vaccination, using a poster on his wall for reference. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/KHALISA ZULKIFLEE


While at the observation area, it gave me some time to reflect on how seamless the whole process was for me, thanks to the ushers put in place.


After half an hour, I was called to a discharge station. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/KHALISA ZULKIFLEE


While the side effects were awful, to say the least, I still feel deeply appreciative that I was given the chance to get myself fully vaccinated (which will take two weeks after the second dose). 

COVID-19 had a profound impact on many of our lives, even causing some to lose their jobs or worse, loved ones. My decision to take the vaccination was not just to protect myself from the virus, but to play my part in ensuring that our community remains safe. 

Over 4.2 million Singaporeans have received their first dose of vaccination as of today, which is about more than half of our local population. Singapore aims to get two-thirds (or 66 per cent) of Singaporeans vaccinated by National Day, on Aug 9. 

When I heard Finance Minister Lawrence Wong mentioning that loosened restrictions will be given for fully-vaccinated individuals, I was glad to be one step closer to hanging out with my family and friends. I would get to enjoy perks such as dining out, going to the gym and attending large events with more than 100 people in attendance. 

These COVID-19 restrictions will be reviewed in early August. Singapore’s reopening will happen when the overall vaccination coverage of the population and our elderly reaches 80 per cent.  

Moving from a COVID-19 pandemic to an endemic in Singapore can only be achieved if everyone does their part in getting vaccinated. 

I hope more locals and non-locals alike take this opportunity to get themselves vaccinated to keep the vulnerable groups in our community safe, and for those who are already vaccinated to remain safe and abide by the safe management measures strictly.

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