On hot humid Monday, I went to the nearby community club that was a ten minutes stroll from my home. It was announced that seniors could drop in and get the booster jab without any need to make a booking beforehand. That was where I had my earlier Pfizer vaccinations. However, to my consternation, operations there had closed a few days before. I was directed to a list of other venues where I could go. The next nearest was a polyclinic or another community club.
I opted for the community club and I was efficiently ushered to a station where a lady confirmed my identity and age. They moved me to the next station where a man asked similar questions to double-check on certain information I had already given. I asked him, “My earlier jabs were Pfizer. Is it okay to have a Moderna jab as booster?” “Yes, its okay”. Finally, I was sent to a booth where a young man gave me the vaccination. All this took about fifteen minutes. Then I was directed to a seat to wait for thirty minutes in case of immediate reactions that needed special attention. There were ten persons before me. When the wait ended, I was again led to another station where I was briefed about side-effects and what to do in various scenarios, and was given a free box of surgical masks. Forty-five minutes was all it took. I am thankful for such efficiency, I was thankful to be Singaporean.
Today, it’s Friday. The only reactions I experienced thus far had been some tiredness, some fever and some soreness on the spot where the injection site was for a day or two. Other than that, I have been okay. The only downside has been that I have have to forgo for two weeks the activities I usually engage in like cycling, swimming and pickle ball. However, I could still do a casual walk in the park so that is a comfort. I am thankful that I have access to vaccination. I do not take this for granted. In many countries around the world, only the very rich and connected can access vaccinations so quickly.
Then there are those in countries where vaccinations are available, like in Singapore, but there are people who have personal, scientific or religious convictions for not receiving vaccinations. For them, their reasons are valid and solid and we have to respect that no matter how frustrating and exasperating that may be especially for loved ones. Worse is the fear that the unvaccinated may endanger their own lives should they get infected. Still we have to respect their choices. As for me, I see vaccination as a gift from God to be received with gratitude. Vaccination does not protect us from infection by covid-19 but it does protect us from more severe effects should we get infected. That itself is a good thing.
Lord, thank you for your sovereign grace that we have access to vaccination and good medical care in Singapore. We pray for those in other countries where this is not the case. Lord we pray you have mercy and help countries that need better medical structures and supplies to tackle this pandemic. Lord, have mercy.