June 25, 2021 | Written By: Haris Asyraf
With the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine in Malaysia, there are various questions about the vaccine hovering in the minds of every citizen. It is normal to be suspicious and curious about the unknown when there is little understanding of the vaccine. For your information, any Malaysians aged 18 years and above are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Priority is given to the frontliners and those who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 disease and getting serious complications from it. The process of getting the vaccine is quite similar to the previous vaccines you’ve taken before. Dive deeper into the article to know the injection process so you will get a better understanding and well prepared before getting it in the future.
Before Receiving The COVID-19 Vaccine
One of the first things you need to do before receiving the COVID-19 vaccine injection is to update your information in the MySejahtera application or on the MOH COVID-19 Vaccination portal. Make sure you’ve answered all the evaluation questions in the MySejahtera application. You also need to read and understand the COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Consent Form on the application.
Before receiving the injection, a health worker will explain to you about the vaccine and the vaccination process, after that you will need to sign the COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance Consent Form in the presence of the health worker. You will also be identified whether you are eligible or to receive the vaccine or not. People with the conditions below are not suggested to get the vaccine, however, it depends on the risk and benefits, some conditions like pregnant mothers who are frontliners might need to take the vaccine, therefore please consult your doctor if you are not sure.
Have a history of hospitalization due to severe allergies
Have a history of allergic reactions to any vaccine before
Cancer patients who are undergoing cancer treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy
Patients with HIV
Mother who is pregnant or planning a pregnancy
Individuals who have a fever due to a viral or bacterial infection
Individuals with low white blood cell problems
Before we move on, make sure you come to the vaccination center on the appointed date and make sure you bring your identification card and a mobile phone that has the MySejahtera app. Seniors and the disabled are encouraged to come with their caretakers.
When Receiving The COVID-19 Vaccine
Make sure you follow the vaccination appointments as scheduled. Tell the officer on duty if you are unwell on the day of receiving the vaccine. If necessary, your vaccination appointment may be delayed until you recover. To facilitate the COVID-19 vaccine injection process, you are advised to wear appropriate clothing such as short-sleeved shirts or long-sleeved shirts that are loose and can be folded until your shoulder.
This COVID-19 vaccine injection will be given on the patient's shoulder. The injection site will be wiped with an alcohol swab to prevent microorganisms from infecting the patient during the injection. The health worker will inject the syringe into the shoulder and plaster on the injected site when done. The patient will be staying in the observation room for 15 to 30 minutes after receiving the injection.
After Receiving The COVID-19 Vaccine
Among the questions that may come to your mind is what to do after receiving COVID-19 vaccine?
After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, you will be in the observation room for at least 15 minutes to observe your status in case you experience any side effects post-injection such as:
Swollen injection site
Swelling of the face, lips, or throat
Formation of rashes all over the body
If you experience the symptoms listed above after receiving the vaccine, you should inform a health worker immediately to seek treatment.
How To Distinguish Someone Who Has Received A Vaccine?
After you receive the injection, you will be given a vaccination card. You should keep this vaccination card as it is important to track that you have received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. This card is required during the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine. In addition to the card, you can use MySejahtera to find out your vaccination information such as vaccine date, vaccine name, and vaccine reference code.
Why Are There Side Effects?
In medicine, every treatment or drug has side effects but that does not mean that the treatment is not safe, just like this COVID-19 vaccine. Although the COVID-19 vaccine has been reported to have some side effects, it is safe to use because the side effects that can occur are usually mild and self-limiting.
This vaccine has been approved by the FDA or Food & Drug Administration which is responsible for controlling the process and safety of the creation of this vaccine for human use worldwide. The vaccine also goes through a safety screening process by an organization in our own country, namely the NPRA (National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency). The vaccine was found to have only mild and temporary side effects. According to the CDC, side effects of the COVID-19 vaccine usually occur within 7 days after injection.
If you experience side effects such as redness or pain at the injection site getting worse within 24 hours, you are advised to contact your healthcare provider. The CDC also strongly recommends getting a second dose of the vaccine even if you experience side effects during the first dose unless your doctor or healthcare provider states you are not eligible for a second dose for some reason.
Is It Necessary To Adopt A New Norm After Receiving The COVID-19 Vaccine?
This possibility is a question that is often asked by the public. With this vaccine, can Malaysians live as before the pandemic? It is still too early for us to know whether this vaccine can prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus even though there are vaccines that can provide up to 95% protection. The current vaccine is intended to avoid the possibility of symptoms of serious infection, the infectiousness of this virus after vaccine injection is still under observation. Therefore, even if you have received the COVID-19 vaccine, you still need to follow the SOPs and practice preventative measures such as wearing a face mask, washing hands, and maintaining social distancing.
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