Today (12 May 2021), I had the privilege of getting the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccination and figured I would list down a guide for those of you about to get yours or those of you genuinely curious about the process.
When Khairy Jamaluddin, Science, Technology and Innovation Minister informed Malaysia that the AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccine would be administered on a voluntary basis, my first thought was that I should sign up for it in order to be protected firstly and secondly to show my family members that they had nothing to fear.
So on May 2, when the bookings were opened to the public through the MySejahtera app, I managed to secure myself a slot for May 12, 2.30pm at Universiti Malaya (UM).
Here's how the process went for me and also some tips for what you can expect when your turn comes:
- I left my home at 1.45pm, Google Maps showed me a 19 minutes travel time to Dewan Peperiksaan 1, UM.
- I arrived and parked at UM by 2.02pm. There is plenty of parking available and it is only a 150 metre walk from the parking lot to Dewan Peperiksaan 1. I did not come across a sekatan jalan raya or roadblock on my way to UM from TTDI.
- Once you see the white gazebo, take your phone out and get ready to check in with MySejahtera.
This will just make the process faster instead of you fumbling around your pockets or handbags for your phone once in queue.
- After you've checked in an official will check your vaccine appointment on the MySejahtera app to confirm that you are present on the right day and time.
- Then get your temperature checked and sit down, waiting for your turn to be called for verification. You will also be given a number denoting your turn in the queue here.
- I took a seat at 2.07pm. At this point, if you're the fidgety type then bring a book or your headphones. I used the time to observe my surroundings and collect my thoughts.
- At approximately 2.22pm my number was called and I was ushered to a station where you will need to check in once more to your vaccination appointment on the MySejahtera app. After which your IC is verified, and you are given two consent forms. The officer in charge will also ask you questions regarding any allergies you may have as well as medical history.
- From here, you will then sit down to talk to a doctor. The doctor will help you in filling up the consent forms. Bring your own pen, just makes it easier all around.
My doctor also explained what I should do in case my side effects were out of the ordinary. The doctor will keep one consent form and you will take the other with you. The doctor will also decide at this point whether you should stay for a 15 or 30 minute observation period post-vaccination based on your medical history and risk factor. You will be given a card with the number 15 or 30 on it.
- From here the next step is to get vaccinated. You will have to check in once again here on your MySejahtera vaccine appointment - this will be for the type of vaccine you will be receiving which in my case was AstraZeneca. The time you were vaccinated will also be recorded on your consent form. Mine was 2.36pm. This is to determine what time your observation period will end. No photos ALLOWED during vaccination. Please respect the rules and if unsure ask.
- There are two observation areas next to each other in UM, one for 15 minutes, one for 30 minutes. So pick your seat, bring out that book, pop in those headphones or just soak it all in.
- Since I was feeling fine with no side effects, I ended my observation period on the dot at 2.51pm. I was then ushered into another seat to wait for the final station to check out.
- At this final station, the officer took my copy of the consent form, exchanged it for a vaccination card with all my particulars in it. Please do not lose this card!
You will also have to confirm your vaccination on the MySejahtera app once again.
At this point in time, if you check under the Profile tab in the MySejahtera app you should see an updated COVID-19 Vaccination Status. If you don't see it immediately, don't panic. Just click Refresh. This is just in case you lose the physical card.
- On your way out drop off the two cards still with you, your turn number card and also observation period card.
- And voila, it was 3.05pm and I was done and out with my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine. A seamless process.
Things to note:
- Bring a pen
- Bring an umbrella in case it rains. There is no covered walkway from the parking lot to Dewan Peperiksaan 1, UM.
- Leave a bottle of water in the car for after you get vaccinated.
- There is plenty of hand sanitizers around so you don't need to bring any but if you want to there's no harm.
- Bring a smile (even if it's hidden behind your mask) and a good disposition. Realise that these are your fellow Malaysians and they are doing you a service, a service which we are likely unable to ever repay. Greet them, thank them every chance you get. This is our chance to show the best of Malaysia so be on your best behaviour.
- If you've signed up to be vaccinated then use this experience of yours to explain and educate others about getting vaccinated. Remember to achieve herd immunity, we need 80 percent of our population to be vaccinated.
And there you have it, a guide for those of you about to get vaccinated with AstraZeneca at Universiti Malaya. #CucukMyAZ (whoever came up with that hashtag should be vaccinated in the AZ)
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