Covid-19 Vaccine experience.

     Who would have thought that the day would come. The vaccine has arrived in Malaysia, and it has arrived at the 'land below the wind'. The fight between us and Covid is almost over. We may win it this time. The virus may remain within us in this world, but the time has come where we were stronger than them, and perhaps, this truce will remain for a very long time. 


    When I was listed in the first phase Covid vaccination program in Malaysia, it was like winning the lottery - well not that much. We have been anticipating this for months now, we have read numerous amount of publications, and we were all know that it will come eventually. Nevertheless, it was a joy to hear that it has arrived, and the anticipation- the waiting is over. 


    I received Pfizer vaccine, as it was the first vaccine arrived in this country. The process of distributing the vaccine must be very difficult and I respect my colleagues those who work day and night planing, organising, and working hard to ensure that we all get the vaccine as soon as possible. I realised that they were no delay on starting the vaccination program. Once the vaccine arrived, everything was in motion. 


    For us, the receiver of the vaccine, everything went on smoothly. There were hiccups as I believed no one has done this before. Even during the influenza H1N1 pandemic, no vaccination program like this were done. Even there were hiccups, I can see that improvisations were made as quickly as it should. They were no trouble at all for us the receiver of the vaccine. 


    I believed the only noticeable problem was due to the IT system where they had to enter everything into MySejahtera app database. This is a very important step as it can easily tracked how much vaccine has been used all over the country, the batch number, the expiry date - all these data will be very useful. But as you all know, when a database being bombarded with literally thousands and thousand of data from all over the country, it can be a little slow and laggy. However, I don't see any problem in that. Just hoping that when the second and third phase started (which will involved more participants), they will improve and upgrade the system. 

  

    After done with all the registration, the process of giving the vaccine happen in one blink of an eye. For all the anticipation, the anxiety (due to these antivax campaign creating false information on vaccine side effect, and yes, it does influence people even for us who don't believe it), all of these for just a one second procedure. Literally one second from the time the needle pierce the skin until they pull it out back after pushing the vaccine into the intradermal space. You won't feel anything at all. 

My vaccination station




    Does this vaccine have side effect at all? I will be a lie if someone say no. The local reaction is real. After a few hours, you will start to feel soreness over the injection side. Then you will feel mild pain and discomfort when moving your arm. That night, I can't sleep on my vaccinated arm side. Some people might feel a bit of giddiness, some might have fever. But I don' really feel any of that other than the local site reaction. 

    The next morning, the soreness will gradually disappear. It then become itchy rather than pain and sore. Then, everything disappear. Rest assure, your body has done its job so as the vaccine. 


    So what happen was, the mRNA inside the vaccine went into our own cells, doesn't matter which cell, any cell that have ribosomes in it. This ribosomes is like a factory inside the cells where it received order from the nucleus to produce protein. The order was in the form of this 'little note' called mRNA. This mRNA will be read and translated by the ribosome to produced proteins. The mRNA will be degraded after it was translated. That's the normal thing to happen. So with the mRNA from the vaccine, it will do the same thing. Translate it, create the protein (the spike protein similar to the virus), then degrade the mRNA. The spike protein produced will be released outside the cell, and the next event is the cause of the soreness and discomfort. 

    

    The immune cells, neutrophils, dendritic cells, some natural killer cells, even some subset of T-cell, will come to the site after a signal was produced by the cells itself saying that some weird activity has been going on in their ribosomal factory. This immune cells will detect the spike protein that has been produced and they were all in emergency mode. They have to destroy it, they have to even attack the cells that is producing it (which is our own). This create an inflammation reaction. Chemicals will be released which causes us to feel pain indicating something is wrong in that area. The protein will be engulf by the immune cells and they will present this antigen to other immune cells, just like us communicating to our superior when problem occur. This communication is important. This is the beginning of the adaptive immune responds. 


    New T-cell will be taught about this antigen. Like us teaching our children about the potential threat of corruption to our country, the children will understand and when they grow up they will fight agains corruptions when they encounter it. This process will take sometimes. The soreness and pain in our arm maybe subsided but the process is far from over. 


    Within a few weeks, our immune system will be prepared and ready for the next threat to happen. This is where the second those will come. The second dose of vaccine that will trigger the immune system, to remind them that the threat is real. Just like when you annoyed your boss, once is forgivable, second time you annoyed, unforgivable and he/she will remember to make your life miserable forever. The immune system won't forget it anymore after the second dose (so as we thought for now at least). 


    The vaccine was safe. Thousand has received it now and none turn into a lizard or something. There were no microchip in it too. I am waiting for those idiots to invent a machine to detect microchip in our arm. That would be very interesting. 


    The only thing I feel after this vaccine is nothing. Am I protected now? I don't know. Is it really working inside my body? How to prove it? 

    We will see within this few months when the vaccine distribution become more extensive. The number of cases will plummet. We hope that we can go back to our normal life again. 



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