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“What it's like to get the COVID-19 Vaccine”

Irfan Mohammad Khan Monday, March 1, 2021
“What it

After months of uncertainty, and ever-changing information during the early pandemic days, I recall my colleagues and I breathing a collective sigh of relief on hearing the news about the COVID 19 vaccination.

On receiving the message from Ministry of Health, Kuwait, I had a feeling of reassurance and relaxation, a sort of solace. This was the beginning of the end of this horrible, horrible pandemic. On February 22, 2021, at the KOC Hospital Unity Center, Ahmadi, I was administered the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

Despite the tremendous wait of the vaccine, when my turn came to be vaccinated, I initially hesitated, at the thought of getting the vaccine. I was a passive spectator to the circulating rumors and counter rumors about the after-effects of vaccine. But after doing my own research and listening to the guidance of experts, including doctors and epidemiologists, I felt confident that taking the vaccine was the right choice.

As instructed in the messages received from MOH about being punctual, I arrived some fifteen minutes early to my vaccination appointment. Since the vaccines have a short shelf life, missing an assigned slot or arriving late could have resulted in wasted doses.

I was asked if I felt sick, had fever or a history of allergic reactions etc. Basically, it was a repeat of all those questions which were asked while filling the registration form. Additionally, I was asked if I had tested positive for COVID 19 in the recent past. All recipients of the vaccine were asked the same questions. Since I replied in negative to all, I was able to receive my first dose.

After getting the first shot, I was monitored for 30 minutes in case of any allergic reaction before I was allowed to leave. This followed, receiving a vaccination card with the name of the vaccine and other details. All recipients received the same card, as a record until, when we will get our second dose of the vaccine. We were advised to carry our passport when visiting the hospital for second dose so that vaccination stamp is endorsed on it.

To reduce discomfort at the injection site, I was advised to apply a clean, cool, wet wash cloth to the area and to continue using the arm. Although symptoms after vaccination are common, I was advised to contact the healthcare provider if redness or tenderness at the injection site worsens after 24 hours or if these side effects persist for more than a few days. When I received my vaccine, I was told that it may not take full effect until a week or so following my second dose. For this reason and others, although vaccinations are a step in the right direction, we must continue to wear face masks, wash our hands and maintain social distance.

During the waiting period of 30 minutes, I received a message from MOH with a link to register and contact the health center, if needed. This particular message can be described as thoughtfulness or the caring attitude of the MOH, Kuwait. However, as mentioned above, my research on vaccine tells me that it helps our bodies develop immunity. After vaccination, the process of building immunity against the virus may cause symptoms to occur, a sign that the body is getting ready itself against the disease.

Though, I feel safer knowing that I have received the vaccination, we are not yet out of the woods; there is a long way to go before we can expect to return to pre-pandemic life — or some of it, at least. So, please, keep praying and hoping for a safe and secure 2021 while maintaining social distance.

The year 2020 will be remembered in medicine for two contradictory things: the “biggest failure in public health” as COVID spread followed by the “biggest achievement in the swift development of a vaccine”.

What is commendable is the readiness on part of the Ministry of Health, Kuwait to procure the vaccine and immune its population regardless of their ethnicity in getting rid of this menace of Corona virus. In doing so, the Government of Kuwait has lived up to its policy of providing health care to all its subjects indiscriminately. I would be failing in my obligation if I did not acknowledge the professional and courteous reception of visitors, right from the visitors’ lounge to the reception area and the administration of the dose followed by final exit points manned by our young and dedicated Kuwaiti volunteers and the staff of MOH.

Irfan Mohammad Khan

Senior Supervisor Coordination

Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC)

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Express your comment on this article

Irfan Mohammad Khan
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Yes. My elder brother in India, too is a survivor. The first hand information is frightening and unnerving.

Mohammad Fahim
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Please dont hesitate in taking the vaccine. I am a survivor of COVID., Don''t ask what it is?

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