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Our Honest and Unfiltered Experience of getting the COVID vaccination

Updated: May 24, 2021

The Paddington Medical team recently completed the COVID-19 vaccination and we want to share with you our honest and unfiltered experience in getting the vaccine.

This article was last updated on 24th May 2021 to reflect HSA's approval for the Pfizer Vaccine for children from 12 to 15 years old.

Some of our patients have told us their concerns about getting the COVID vaccination and these concerns generally include:

  1. Is the vaccine safe for me?

  2. What are the side effects of the COVID vaccine experienced?

  3. I know the vaccine is not approved for everyone, why?

  4. Should I do the vaccine? If I don't do it, how?

  5. If I'm going to do the vaccination, how can I best prepare myself for it? Checklist to prepare for COVID vaccination

  6. What is going to happen at the vaccination centre?

  7. I know my child is not eligible for the vaccination, how else can I protect my child from falling sick? Click here to find out more

So let's go through some of these concerns now. However, if you have any further concerns not addressed here, please do not hesitate to approach us in clinic!

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe and effective for me?

The current vaccines approved in Singapore are the ones from Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna. The Paddington Medical team was vaccinated with the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine, which is a 2 dose vaccine regimen. Both vaccines have undergone 3 phases of drug trials and have been approved by the Singapore Health Sciences Authority, and Singapore's Expert Committee on COVID-19 vaccination.

In Singapore, as of 24th May 2021, approximately 3.41million doses of the COVID vaccine have been given with approximately 1.44million people completing both doses of the COVID vaccine. There hasn't been any serious side effects reported thus far.

MORE people that are vaccinated = HARDER for the virus to spread = SAFER for you and your loved ones

The current vaccine that we took (Pfizer-Biontech) is 95% effective (14 days after the 2nd dose of COVID vaccination) in preventing mild and severe symptoms of COVID.

What are the side effects of the COVID vaccine experienced?

For the first COVID vaccine shot, we experienced mostly aches in the vaccination site (upper arm, shoulder region).

Some body aches were experienced also, but generally nothing too major. We did not get any fever or any allergic reactions. These aches resolved after 24 to 48 hours and none of us took MC!

For the second COVID vaccine shot, we experienced more side effects as compared to the first shot.

The upper arm shoulder aches were more prominent as well as the body aches too.

Some of our team members experienced more fatigue, fever (approximately 38.3degC) and headaches, which was easily rectified with paracetamol.

Some of our team also had to take a day off work to rest. However, all these side effects resolved after 1 to 2 days also.

I know the vaccine is not approved for everyone, why?

The current vaccine is not approved for:

  • Children below 12 years old

  • Women who are pregnant, or who become pregnant before their second vaccination dose Those with severe allergic response to any food, medication or other vaccines

  • Those who experience a severe allergic reaction

  • Immunocompromised persons

  • Breastfeeding mothers (breastfeeding should be suspended for 5-7 days after vaccination) Transplant patients

  • Active cancer patients

The COVID vaccine has not been extensively tested in these populations to obtain safety and efficacy data hence it is not approved.

Should I do the COVID vaccine? If I don't do it, how?

Yes you should do the vaccine!

Despite all the side effects that we experienced, our Paddington Medical team encourages ALL patients who are eligible for the vaccine, to do the vaccine.

1. We trust the science of the vaccine.

2. We trust the committee behind the vaccine implementation program in Singapore.

3. We trust my friends who have already had the vaccination since it was rolled out in Singapore.

4. We do not need to wait and see anymore.

5. We do not believe in fake news and fake statistical analysis.

6. We were worried about getting infected with Covid-19.

7. The supply of the Covid-19 vaccine may not be guaranteed, and if the time comes when you finally decide to the vaccine, there may not be any vaccine available.

8. We believe that everyone should get vaccinated before the next outbreak

The alternative to not getting the COVID vaccination, is the risk of catching COVID itself!

If I'm going to do the vaccination, how can I best prepare myself for it?

Here's a checklist for you to prepare for the COVID Vaccine:

  1. Book your vaccination slot.

  2. Clear your schedule on the vaccination day and 1 to 2 days AFTER the vaccine so as to allow yourself to rest properly if you get any body aches or fever.

  3. Drink enough water before the vaccination.

  4. Optional - take Vitamin C daily, a week at least, before the vaccination to boost your immune system.

  5. Wear a mask and practice good hand hygiene.

  6. If you have any chronic medical problems or taking any long term medications, bring them along with you to the vaccination center to inform the health care staff doing the vaccine. Alternatively, please visit your doctor who has been attending to you to get a summary of your medical issues so you can bring it along to the vaccination center.

  7. If you have any allergies, and especially if you are unsure of what reaction you get, please visit your doctor to discuss this. You may need a memo from your doctor to state what allergies you have and what is the reaction when you are at the triage station at the vaccination center.

  8. Bring along your NRIC / Photo Identification and Vaccination invitation letter / SMS / email to the vaccination site

  9. Bring some reading material / good handphone games to keep yourself entertained during the 30 min compulsory monitoring time post vaccination

What is going to happen at the vaccination center?

This is our team's experience at Tampines Polyclinic where the whole Paddington Medical team was vaccinated.

After the usual safe entry / trace together scan in, there was a registration counter to get registered. We had to show our NRIC and vaccination invitation SMS that was sent to us a few days prior to the vaccination day.

The 2nd station was a triage / screening station where we were assessed on being eligible for the vaccination. Some of our team members had certain drug allergies, but were minor, and hence still were assessed to be safe for vaccination. Once assessed to be safe for vaccination, we were given a brochure from MOH to outline the vaccination and some frequently asked questions.

The 3rd station was the vaccination station where the vaccination was administered. Just to note, some of our team members didn't even feel the needle as it was a very fine needle!

(sorry we can't show you any actual pictures of us being jabbed because the staff didn't allow us to take pictures! but it looks very similar to our Minister of Health Mr Gan Kim Yong's Vaccination process)

The final station was a 30 minutes compulsory monitoring station where we had to wait for 30 minutes for the healthcare staff to ensure that we did not get any serious vaccine allergy. Some of our team members took the time to rest up before going back to clinic!

After the 30 minutes wait, after the 1st COVID vaccination, we were given an appointment date reminder for the 2nd vaccine. After the 2nd COVID vaccination, we were given a certificate of vaccination. You can also go to to check your COVID vaccination records after being vaccinated

I know my child is not eligible for the vaccination, how else can I protect my child from falling sick?

Yes, all children below the age of 16 are not eligible for the COVID vaccination because the safety data has not been established yet. However, it should be noted that there are other viruses circulating in the community, like the INFLUENZA (FLU) virus. You can always bring your child to see your doctor to get him / her vaccinated against the FLU virus, as long as your child is well and above 1 year old. The side effects of the FLU vaccine are definitely not as "strong" as the COVID vaccine. Do have a discussion with your doctor on the influenza vaccine. Click here to find out more.

Apart from this, do make sure your child wears a mask (if possible) and teach them good hand and droplet hygiene!

Once again, MORE people that are vaccinated = HARDER for the virus to spread = SAFER for you and your loved ones

If you still have any queries or concerns regarding the COVID vaccine, do approach any of our doctors in Paddington Medical for a friendly, honest and unfiltered discussion!

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