My Vaxx Story

June 26, 2021

Finally, I can now say that I have been vaccinated (at least for the first dose) against COVID-19. Just yesterday, I received my first shot of Sinovac. It was a swift series of events. Just on Thursday, I was on a non-work Zoom call with friends at the office sharing our frustrations because none of us have been vaccinated. And then the next day, boom - I have just been jabbed. 💉

LGU Registration
Similar to most residents in our city, my vaccine story started with the registration process on our LGU website. I actually registered already even though our category (I'm under A4 - remaining workforce) was still not included in the priority list. I just hoped that maybe my name could be selected randomly. Of course as expected, I didn't receive a schedule for my vaccination.

After the official announcement that the A4 priority group can now be given vaccines, I attempted to register again on the website. I noticed some bugs on the form, although they were intermittent (ehem software developer here) like:

  • clicking the Submit button doesn't do anything on the page (no prompt or anything)
  • upon clicking the Submit button, all the fields went blank - this was what most of the commenters on the city's FB page were complaining about 😅
  • there was an error message related to the email address field - I cannot remember the exact message, although my hunch was that the email address was a unique identifier on their database, and this was my second time registering with the same email
  • some received an SMS confirmation that they had been registered; some received email confirmation; some received nothing
For the past 4 months, I think I registered for around 5 times. It's been a month since my last registration and my name was still not on the list. I checked our city's FB page everyday to see if I got included in the list, and I was disappointed each time. I just jokingly told my friends that this process felt like checking if I passed a college entrance exam. 😅

One day, my sister forwarded me a screenshot of a directory that was published by our city's SNS, containing contact numbers of each barangays. There was instruction there to contact the health centers of our barangay to follow up on our vaccine schedules. I texted all the mobile numbers there for our barangay. I didn't want to call them because I felt like they are very busy people and my case was not really urgent. I didn't receive any reply. Second strategy was to call the landline. I told them that I would like to follow up on my vaccine schedule, but the lady on the line told me that it was not the appropriate office to do this. I was so confused. I told them oh okay, I called this number because it was published online but never mind. For my third strategy, I visited the FB page of the health center of our barangay. I saw a link for an online form for vaccine-related concerns. The post was published just two days ago. Of course, I filled-out the form stating that I am following up on my vaccine schedule.

Finally, I'm on the list!
'Lo and behold, just after two days, I finally saw my name on the city's vaccine registrants with my venue and schedule on the next day! I knew that this registration came from the barangay health center form because it included my full middle name, and that's the only form where I included that. I was ecstatic of course. I immediately contacted my manager to tell her I'm going to be on leave the next day. But one thing though, I got slightly stressed because I still didn't have the SMS confirmation of my vaccine schedule, but fortunately I received it a few hours after. 

So, I spent the whole night studying Google Maps so that I could drive to my vaccination venue. Honestly, I was a bit anxious about this trip because it would be my first time to drive alone along unfamiliar route. Again, it didn't help that I always think of the worst-case scenario. But, I tried to study and look deeper into this fear that I was feeling. 

What was I afraid of? Well I'm afraid that I would get lost because I did a wrong turn along the way. 
Is the solution to my fear within my control? Yes. I can study my route beforehand. I can even use Waze if I do go the wrong way.

And so with this mindset, I repeatedly studied the street views on Google Maps until I memorized my planned route. I became more confident after this. Unfortunately I still wasn't able to sleep well because my mind was racing all night. I didn't pop a melatonin pill just in case it would affect my body upon receiving the vaccine.

Vaccination Day
I woke up around 6:30AM the next day, no alarm needed. This was my normal waking hours. I was still feeling anxious about my plans for the day, and so I went online and checked the comments on our city's FB page. Then, I suddenly thought of changing my plan a bit: I thought of going to a nearer vaccine site to check if I could get vaxxed there. I mean, I'm from the same barangay on today's schedule anyway.

I arrived at the mall around 8AM. The guards there were only admitting people with the SMS confirmation on that site. I asked if I could still be accommodated even though I'm scheduled on another site. The first guard refused me, but the second guard let me in. So I was feeling a bit happy but nervous at the same time. Unfortunately, the lady who was manning the registration desk refused to accommodate me, saying that they are not accepting registrants that are scheduled on another site. 😖 

With spirits dampened, I walked out of the mall and went back to the car. I told myself - they're just doing their job... I guess they really needed to be strict, or else all people would flock there if they knew they allowed exceptions. And I felt the Universe wanted me to achieve this milestone -- to be able to drive along unknown territory. And so I braced myself and drove to my new destination.

Surprisingly, the drive was not as bad as I thought it would be. Well, there were motorbikes and bikes everywhere, but aside from them, I didn't encounter nasty drivers (thankfully). And so I arrived safe and sound to my destination. Upon arriving at the basement parking, I noticed that all the vehicles were reversely parked (not sure if this is the right term). Well hmm I'm not very much confident with my parking skills so I went with what I'm used to -- forward parking! I located a parking slot without any vehicle on both sides (to be safe!) and positioned the car. I tried several times to align the car. 😅 Upon getting out, I checked on one side and saw the wheels were on the line, but meh I thought that's okay I guess, as long as they're not outside (which I would discover later to be an inaccurate statement).

And so I easily located the vaccination line. It was also located in the basement parking, and the people were grouped per barangay. I wasn't expecting them to be this strict -- I thought I could get in if I arrived early. Unfortunately, it was not the case. So I found my seat (at least I'll wait sitting down!) and arranged my mindset that I would be waiting for 5 hours. 

But after an hour, I realized that I would need to eat (LOL I haven't had breakfast) so I left my spot and went inside the mall to grab a snack. Surprisingly, it didn't feel awkward to eat on a solo table. I hastily finished my meal to get back on line. Fortunately, the people around me in line did not touch my spot so I was able to sit on the same spot (huhu thank you). 

And so the waiting game began. Through micro naps, attempting to read an e-book, and chatting with my friends on SNS, the 5 hours quickly passed by. And then finally, our group was given the consent form! That's when I learned the vaccine brand that would be administered to us. It was Sinovac for our batch. After several minutes, our line was called to go up the mall into the counseling area. There, we were given our vaccine card and was briefed about the vaccination procedure. And then we lined up with the doctors who asked us series of questions to assess if we were fit to receive the vaccine. After a few minutes, I was already on the vaccination area, receiving the vaccine! I was looking sideways when they took out the syringe and I saw the thin needle that went through my skin. I didn't feel anything (maybe because I felt the cold more inside the mall). And then I went to the monitoring area and stayed there for 15 minutes. This was part of the procedure to check for adverse effects from the vaccine. After that time period, I was done! 😁

After the Jab and Journey Home
My sister received the same brand and she told me that feelings of fatigue and sleepiness were her side effects, which she felt a few hours after the jab. I think I was still stressed after being vaxxed because I needed to beat the clock before the side effects surface because I still needed to drive. 

And so after going around the mall to do a few errands and to purchase some items, I went back to the parking lot ready for my journey back home. That's when I noticed that my parking was not really the best one. The other side of the car had lots of space, unlike the other side (where the wheels were already on the white line). I saw that the side mirror was folded on that side, and I'm sure the car owner who was beside me (it was already vacant at the time) on that side did that because of lack of space (I'm sorry huhu). And so with an exhausted body and a lingering headache (due to the long hours of waiting), I started the car and prepared the Waze app. I saw the red lines of traffic and remembered that it's Friday rush hour #ohno. I just started playing my Morning Playlist on Spotify to cheer me up.

I don't know why, but as much as I love listening to music, I'm not comfortable jamming to music while driving. I felt like I needed to really concentrate on my driving so I placed the volume to the minimum so that I won't get distracted. Well as expected, I encountered heavy traffic. There were moments when I caught myself lazily looking at the back lights of the truck in front of me. That's when I decided to move the volume of my music up for a bit. I don't know if it was already the side effects of the vaccine, but I was already starting to feel extra tired at that moment. I was like oh no I need to be home soon... a few kilometers more, self... you can do this! To liven the atmosphere, I just sang loudly inside the car. 😅 Then I realized it was my first time to do this. I always daydreamed of doing car karaoke with my friends. I hope to meet up with them and do some long road trips with them, soon!

After around an hour of driving, I finally arrived home. I was so happy as I slurped my matcha milk tea with cheese that I bought earlier. #selfreward

That night, I felt extra tired upon falling asleep (again, might be caused by the vaccine), but I felt better the next day. I actually had a Toastmasters speech scheduled in the afternoon, but I thought of just resting so I rescheduled it. I needed to give myself some break, just this time. 😊

Until now as of this writing (which is a day after), it still have not sunk in that hey I already have 1/2 protection from the virus! I remember feeling so relieved when my brother got his. I became teary-eyed after my parents went home after their first dose (I even hugged my mom lol I was so dramatic) and also when my sister got hers. 

Well, what an experience! I was so proud of myself because I conquered my fears and went out of my comfort zone (again) that day. Thank you Universe for this. My vaccine adventure was not the most favorable one for me, but it allowed me to grow. Thank you for my family for offering support in my decision (although I knew my mom was worried with me driving alone). I hope my friends and more people get vaxxed soon, so we can go to out-of-town trips again! 

UPDATE: I have also received my second dose! My plan worked this time, as I went to the nearest vaxx site first thing in the morning. I was the 4th one in line! The effect of the vaccine was more evident this time around - I felt the fatigue and tiredness for almost 3 days (good thing I received the dose on a Friday also, because then I had the whole weekend to just rest). Aside from that and a mild headache, I didn't feel any adverse side effects. Thank you Universe. I am now fully vaxxed!

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2 (mga) komento

  1. Congrats!!! :) Same here, sinovac fam ahaha I felt same side effects. I'm due for my second vax and wishing that soon enough, our country can finally achieve "herd immunity"and sana... wala ng anything related to COVID19 on the next years.

    1. Yay! I'm glad to hear you're close to being fully vaxxed, Diane! :D I'm happy more people are getting vaccinated each day. I hope COVID deescalates from a pandemic to just something similar to the seasonal flu wherein yearly we just need to get a booster, or even less than that.

      We'll get through this!


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