Getting the COVID19 Vaccination in San Juan City : Our Personal Experience
Yesterday was a happy day for our family. After a year of staying at home and trying our hardest to adjust our lifestyles to adhere to the safety protocols to avoid getting and spreading the virus, my parents got their 1st dose of the vaccine! I think a lot are curious how it all happened so allow me to tell you all about it from registration down to immunization.
We first got wind of the registration sometime in February and while I know that my family's still undecided whether or not we're getting the vaccine, I decided to just register to secure us a slot. Yes, I am kiasu that way but I figured out that it's better that we have a slot and that we are given the chance to choose than not getting any slot later on. I assured my parents that this will give us time to slowly decide by doing our own research and getting first hand information from others who will be immunized before us.
San Juan City started administering vaccines to Senior Citizens last Monday, March 29 but we didn't received any message about my parents' schedules. I was feeling anxious already wondering if I filled up the form correctly. Then we finally got the happy news the following day -- March 30, 2021 (Tuesday). It's a legit SMS from the San Juan City government saying that my parents are scheduled for their 1st dose of vaccines the next day at 4-5pm. The text message was short but clear and straight to the point.
The BIG day
Since my dad used my phone to register for his slot, I decided to go with them as it is required to present the text confirmation at the vaccination site. Lucky also for me as I saw first hand how the whole process went.
3:30pm: Upon arriving at the Fil-Oil Gym, we were asked to present the text message and our temperature was taken using the thermoscan. There was zero queue / crowd at the entrance. I recommend for you to go early. As you may have noticed, we arrived 30 minutes before their scheduled time. They allowed us in already which was a good thing.
3:35pm: We followed the direction to the central area of the gym and were greeted by one of the volunteers. After checking my parents' senior citizen cards, we were led to station #1 where we were asked to fill up a 2-pager form with their details and again, they asked to see their senior citizen card. After which, they were given a laminated number card which was color coded and their vaccination card too.
Note: I like the fact that they really checked the IDs and ensured that one lives in San Juan. Let's all be cool and do not attempt to register in a city where you don't reside in. Remember that stocks are limited and the main goal is to get as many people protected from the virus. Cutting the line / jumping queues will mean taking someone else's allocation and that can lead to people not being vaccinated later on.
3:40pm: Station 2 was to verify the information written on the form. I love how the tables were all positioned far apart from one another and social distancing was really being followed. The gym, by the way, is air-conditioned. I was initially worried as they say that the virus spreads faster in enclosed areas but since the venue is big and it's still our responsibility to wear mask, shield and to sanitize, then it's all good. Also, they work so fast that there was hardly any waiting time.
3:45pm: Station 3 staff took their vital stats : oxygen level, blood pressure and temperature. This is very important and I liked how careful they really were. Everything was recorded and properly monitored. I also noticed that the staff would spray alcohol on the chair and on the table after every resident.
3:55pm: We're almost there! The next step was to see the doctor on duty as she asked us for more details. What meds were my parents taking, if they have any allergies, etc. Again, she took their oxygen level. Once all seemed okay, she signed off to clear them for the vaccine.
4pm: My parents finally got their 1st dose of the COVID19 vaccine. They were informed that they will be given AstraZeneca and we saw that each vials were taken from this military-looking cooler. They also got their vaccine cards filled up and the staff even wrote the schedule for their 2nd dose.
4:10pm: The final step is to head to the monitoring station. There, they took their vital stats again and monitored this for 20-30 minutes. The goal is to avoid any spikes in their blood pressure or temperature. After my parents were tested twice, they were cleared to go home... and we're done!
We were well-guided every step of the way with a volunteer ready to answer our questions. I am just so thankful for our local city government as the process was so smooth and systematic. I gotta commend all the volunteers for being so efficient too. This is our first step towards fighting COVID19 and I hope that more people (if not all) will choose to get vaccinated. Always believe that #VaccinesWork and it's there to help us prevent falling ill due to vaccine-preventable diseases. In case you're wondering, the vaccination is free.
Just a note, today is Day 1 after their vaccination and Papa feels okay while Mommy felt a bit warm, sleepy and sore. I checked her temperature and it's ranging from 37.3 to 37.7. She took a paracetamol and said that it made her feel much better. We will continue to monitor their vital stats until they feel that they're back to normal already.
I'll update this post from time to time to share their daily post-vaccination developments. Nonetheless, I hope that this has helped answer all your questions and have ease your worries about taking the COVID19 vaccine. I personally can't wait for my turn too.
Thank you so much Mayor Francis Zamora and the entire San Juan LGU team!