Getting vaccinated is a huge responsibility that Malaysians have to fulfill in order to help build protection against the virus that’s been plaguing our nation for the past two years. Experts believe that getting a COVID-19 vaccine also helps keep you from getting seriously ill even if you do get COVID-19.
Malaysia opened the second batch of slots for the AstraZeneca vaccine on 23 May with priority for senior citizens while those ages 18 and above registered for their slots on 26 May 2021.
The slot bookings to get the vaccine was quite a difficult ordeal to some Malaysians, with them claiming that the system blocked them from entering the website or that they could not manage to even click on their related states at all.
While the website may have quite a few hiccups, the process of getting vaccinated is a different story entirely. According to Malaysians who have had their first doses of AstraZeneca, the process of the vaccination itself at the centres was a breeze. Malaysians have claimed that the process was easy to follow and very quick — in just 30 minutes!
Here are some factors you need to know and take into account when you’re about to get vaccinated:
Before Getting The Vaccine
Do your research!
Don’t just go with the flow. It is very important that you actually consult with doctors and do your own research on the vaccine you’re about to get so that you’ll be well prepared in the future. Most vaccines come with side effects, so make sure you are familiar with them so that it won’t worry you when or if it happens.
Book your slots
Appointments for the AstraZeneca vaccine are booked through your MySejahtera app or through the Government’s website (if you are above 60, or registering for your parents, the slots are open until 26 May). Through the website, you would have to insert your IC number, your MySejahtera ID as well as your phone number.
They will ask you to choose a preferred date for your appointment and the destination where you’ll be vaccinated. After clicking “submit”, they will give you a confirmation message within 48 hours either by SMS or in your MySejahtera app on what time you should be at your designated vaccination centre.
Take Good Care of Yourself
This goes without saying that even on a normal day, you should take care of your health. Keep up with your vitamins and stay home to ensure that before getting your vaccine, you’ll be at maximum health. If you feel under the weather, do NOT show up! Instead, call your doctor and do a check up. If you missed your appointment, you would have to reschedule it within 48 hours.
What You Need
Bring your IC, your phone (along with your MySejahtera app installed in it), hand sanitiser and your mask (you are encouraged to wear double masks and a face shield for extra protection).
It is easier and more convenient to wear short sleeves to your vaccination appointment. For hijabis, you can opt to wear short sleeves with a cardigan so that it will be easier than rolling up your sleeves.
Pro tip: Hydrate yourself! Bring a water bottle along with you or a bottle of 100 Plus. Also, bring along some Panadol in your bag! It would help to ease any pain you might have after getting vaccinated.
At The Vaccine Centre
Keep your mask on at all times and make sure you sanitise yourself after touching anything. Upon entering, there are five steps that you will have to go through.
Step 1: Register
When you arrive at your vaccination centre according to the time allocated, find your designated station area (there are three stations) and check in with your MySejahtera app.
It is advised to arrive no earlier than 15 minutes before your appointed time to avoid overcrowding. You will have to line up to register at the entrance and will be briefed on what to expect as you go through the vaccination process.
Step 2: Fill in Consent Form
They will give you a number and two consent forms to fill in; one for you and the other is for the doctor. You should just fill in your details first but do not sign them yet. It’s important that you bring your own pen in order to limit any unnecessary contact. You will also be given a number so they can call you when it’s your turn to go in.
Step 3: Consultation/Interview
When your number is called, you will be asked to register and verify your IC and phone number with the person at the booths. After that, you will meet with a doctor for a short consultation where they will ask you about:
Your medical history
If you have any allergies
If you’ve been vaccinated recently (HPV, flu shots, etc.)
Answer any concerns you may have regarding the vaccine.
After all that is said and done, you will finally sign the consent form in front of the doctor.
Step 4: Vaccine
After the consultation, you will be taken to a room where you’ll have to wait until your number is called again before proceeding to the next station, which is where you will get the jab.
Step 5: 10-15 minutes observations and collect 2nd dose card
Once you’re done with that, you will have to wait in another room for a 10-15 minute observation process. This is to ensure that if you have any rare side effects, the doctors can be of help immediately.
After the observation, all that’s left for you to do is to collect your second dose card and then you can go home! Yay!
The After Effects
When doing research regarding the vaccine, you will notice and understand that after getting them, there will probably be side effects that you would have to bear. Not everyone would experience them but there are some that will. Some of the common side effects include:
Aches in joints and muscles
Pain at the injection site
Some not-so-common ones are such as:
Severe allergic reaction
Swollen lymph nodes
Some of those who have been vaccinated have mentioned that their doctors advised them to take two tablets of Panadol before sleeping and then two more the next morning.
Although there are side effects from your first dose, please make sure that you make an appointment for the next one because the vaccine won’t fully lock in if you’ve only had one dose.
Vaccinate For A Better Future
It is important to keep in mind that although you’ve been vaccinated, there is still a possibility for you to get the virus. So please take very good care of yourself. One way to do that is to avoid red and yellow zones and only go out if you absolutely have to!
Another way is that if you have to go out, remember to wear a mask (or double mask!) and carry along hand sanitisers with you at all times, as well as keep your distance from other human beings within the area.
Do your part in getting more educated on the vaccines that Malaysia has to offer and how to sign up for them. Head over to the WHO website or the Malaysia’s Government website for more information regarding the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Stay home and stay safe, my fellow Malaysians!