Malilong: I, the adverse reaction

Frank Malilong
·3 min read

I received my first jab of the anti-Covid vaccine yesterday. Sinovac. It’s the best vaccine in town. Actually, the only one available.

I entered the vaccination center at the Robinsons Galleria at 9:15 in the morning. I was able to step out at 11:30. More than two hours but it was worth the wait.

I spotted Vice Mayor Mike Rama entering his car as I was about to go up. He is the vaccine czar, and he apparently just came from an inspection of the vaccination site. I knocked on the door of his SUV to say hello.

I was looking forward to seeing Mayor Edgar Labella, whom I had not seen for a long time. I had not planned on getting inoculated yet as I was told that the company I worked for had ordered Moderna from the US and was expecting its arrival in the third quarter of this year. But when the mayor invited us to join him for our first shot, Lester and Rhea Razo and I quickly responded. Unfortunately, the plans changed.

I do not believe that majority of the Cebuanos are reluctant to be vaccinated. Not the seniors, I am sure, for I saw many of them yesterday, some on wheelchairs. Ordinarily, it would have taken an hour to complete the vaccination procedure, I was told, but yesterday, there were just too many of us.

I was impressed by the system that Rama and his deputy, Councilor Dave Tumulak, introduced at the vaccination center. The process was orderly and much of the credit for that goes to the ushers who courteously guided us through every step of the way.

I was given a form to fill out when I arrived and passed at least three tables before I finally got the vaccine. I stayed longest at the table where a lady took my blood pressure. She had to do it thrice because my BP was off the charts. On the third try and just as I was about to ask if her sphygmomanometer was really working, I was cleared.

I sat for a while at the end of a long line of chairs before I finally got to the last stage before inoculation. I moved to the chair in front of me until I was able to get inside the room where the same order was followed up to the vaccination room.

I had my BP taken again before and after I was vaccinated. They also asked me to insert my index finger into a contraption that looked like a big paper clip to check my oxygen saturation level. Apparently I passed both because I was cleared to go home after I had passed the last table where a doctor instructed me what to do should I feel any adverse reactions.

I was hungry when I stepped out, but I have no complaints, not even on the supposed 50 percent efficacy of the best vaccine available. I was just worried about the number of people converging in an enclosed space for an average of two hours. What if one of us had Covid? We were wearing masks though.

I wrote this four hours since I got my first dose and happily, I haven’t experienced any reaction. Wait, there’s one, actually: I can’t resist starting every sentence with “I.”

But like allergy, it will pass, I assure you.