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Why getting vaccinated does help

As someone who is frustrated with the latest restrictions, getting vaccinated is still the least we can do.

Brandon Leong
Brandon Leong

Compulsive playlist maker.


Published: 1 October 2021, 5:42 PM

When the latest restrictions were announced it served as a sad reminder as to how apathetic I’ve become to the pandemic. 

Just weeks ago, we had the government come out and reiterate their plans to treat the pandemic as endemic but due to the recent surge in cases, this plan seemed to have been put on the backburner. 

That being said, since becoming fully vaccinated, I’ve become slightly more relieved and hopeful as we slowly, and hopefully, edge towards life as it once was. It has definitely lifted some of the anxiety I had when the pandemic first hit. 

The frenzy and paranoia over a novel coronavirus is something everyone, including myself, has experienced before. Even the SARS epidemic in the early 2000s is nothing compared to the COVID-19 pandemic. I remember being slightly ever so paranoid everytime I would go out, liberally dousing my hands in hand sanitiser and furiously wiping my phone and wallet with alcohol wipes. 

You can imagine my relief when Singapore finally approved the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine at the end of 2020. 

I received my first dose in mid-June 2021 with the side effects of the vaccine being rather standard in my experience, with a mere sore arm from the first jab which was gone after a day while a fever and feeling of fatigue setting in on the second day of the second dose, which was gone by the third day. 

Even though we have inoculated almost 82 per cent of the population as of Sep 28, the hesitation that the remaining 18 per cent might have against vaccines still baffles me, apart from the minority who are unable to take their vaccination because of allergies.

It’s absolutely fine to have your own beliefs about vaccines and how you feel about them. With that being said, we are now seeing the toll of the collective decision of the many people who choose not to get vaccinated. This stress and overall health cost on our healthcare system, not just to the infrastructure but also to the many healthcare workers and subsequently also to the many people who work at these hospitals, be it pharmacists, receptionists, cleaners, all of whom have already contributed and sacrificed so much just so the healthcare system can continue to operate. This multiplier effect of having just a few people that might be against vaccination is absolutely devastatingly cataclysmic. 

But I am convinced the current hesitation does not come close to what the ground sentiment was a year ago when people would jump at the chance to take the vaccine, if that meant we could start living life somewhat normally, even with the accompanying side effects.

Having gone through last year’s lockdown and the constant flip-flopping of restrictions, many have experienced and are still experiencing covid fatigue to some degree. Personally, being cooped up at home during the initial lockdown, made me appreciate the little things we take for granted. 

I don’t think I’ve ever craved a bowl of Bak Chor Mee more so than during this period.

 

vax-op-ed
The weekly football kickabout sessions with my friends at the nearby park was something I sorely missed during the initial lockdown. PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/NUR SHAZRIENA

 

As someone who’s “done their part” and gotten vaccinated, it is frustrating still to see us going backwards with these restrictions, there’s no denying that. But I’m glad I’ve gotten vaccinated as it does remove the certain doubt and paranoia I had when I used to go out prior to the vaccination program.

The misconception that vaccines are supposed to grant immunity to people has widely been debunked. Vaccines merely mitigate the serious complications of any COVID-19 infection and people who have been vaccinated have significant protection against severe illness and death – which is the primary purpose of vaccination.

The recent surge in cases due to the catastrophic delta variant does highlight just how important being vaccinated is. The risk of infection among vaccinated people falls by two-thirds and they are far less likely to suffer prolonged symptoms according to the medical journal – the Lancet. 

Almost all symptoms were reported less frequently in infected vaccinated individuals than in infected unvaccinated individuals, and vaccinated individuals were more likely to be completely asymptomatic, especially if they were 60 years or older.

I cannot stress how mundane life was during the lockdown. Everyone was working from home, confined to their four walls for most of the year and at the very least, we are still able to head to the cinemas, go to the gym for a workout or simply have a meal.

 

vax-op-ed
Going for weekly jogs did wonders for my mental health PHOTO CREDIT: YOUTHOPIA/SITOH SHANICE

 

While we may seem to have gone backwards with the latest restrictions, we can still do the very least and get ourselves vaccinated to prevent any detrimental complications even if we, unfortunately, do get infected. 

At the end of the day, getting vaccinated is a personal choice of yours. But the value of a personal choice surely shouldn’t be deemed as worthier than the choices of those who have sacrificed so much to keep the country afloat. It certainly shouldn’t be able to infringe upon the lives of others, too.  

I also do hope the multi-ministerial taskforce (MTF) can establish a road map so we can actually gauge where we are as a country on the path towards normalcy.

For those who aren’t vaccinated yet, you can book your appointment here.  


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