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S M Ong: Vaccinated and it feels so… ow!

Dear Ministry of Health,

I am sort of a healthcare professional. Or at least used to be.

I was a medic in the navy during my national service and used to vaccinate shiploads of servicemen. That was hundreds of pricks. I mean the injections. The jabs were mostly for tetanus, rubella and hepatitis.

I became rather proficient with a syringe. I had good reviews.

So I am more accustomed to giving injections than getting one.

I wanted to share this fun fact about myself with the young woman giving my first dose of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine to show that I can relate to what she was doing.

She probably wouldn’t care, although that hasn’t stopped me before. Otherwise, this column would not exist.

But there was a long queue at Hong Kah North Community Club and I did not want to hold up the line with my reminiscence of injecting seamen 35 years ago.

The young woman was pretty deft with the needle too. Maybe even better than I was. It was over before I knew it. I barely felt the prick. It was like nothing.

The pain only hit me the day after and it hit hard.

My left shoulder felt like it had been punched by shiploads of servicemen. The rest of me was also out of sorts.

But I was fine by the next day, although I still feel a lingering ache in my left shoulder even now when I exercise, two weeks after the jab.

My wife, who had the injection at the same time as me, had the same side effects except maybe a little worse. She also had headaches.

But despite all the unpleasant side effects, I am still glad I had my shot.

You know why? Because I got a free box of 50 disposable masks and small bottle of water out of it. Woo-hoo!

That is how you get more Singaporeans to go for vaccination – free stuff! Why aren’t you advertising this?

I later found out that a friend who went to a different vaccination centre didn’t get anything. So not everyone gets freebies.

LIST

It was only after our injections that we discovered you had published a list indicating which vaccination centre administers the Pfizer and which the Moderna vaccine – but not which centre hands out free stuff.

If we had known earlier, my wife would have chosen the Pfizer vaccine since it is supposedly 1 per cent more effective than Moderna.

Don’t Pofma me, but that 1 per cent makes all the difference to her.

Don’t you find it funny that even for vaccines, people also care about brand name now?

When I was injecting seamen in the navy, I didn’t know whether the vaccine was from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson or Dettol.

I didn’t know if anyone had a blood clot or a microchip tracked by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates implanted in them after getting vaccinated.

Nowadays, we seem to know so much about the Covid-19 vaccines and yet not enough.

Back then, I just made sure to expel any air bubbles in the needle before sticking it in to avoid accidentally giving someone an air embolism. Hopefully, I didn’t kill anyone.

I can’t wait for my second dose to get more free stuff.



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