36-Year-Old Malaysian Living In NYC Shares Her Experience Of Getting The COVID-19 Vaccine

"I only had a sore arm and was able to resume my activities."

Cover image via New Straits Times & @nychealthy (Instagram)

Earlier this month, a Malaysian living in Brooklyn, New York City, received the first of two vaccine inoculations for COVID-19

Her name is Sharon Lam, who moved to the US in 2013 as a student and is now a permanent resident, working as a licensed massage therapist, according to New Straits Times.

"I received my Moderna vaccination on 19 January at the New York City Health Department office building, although the vaccination was administered by affiliated physicians," Lam shared.

What was the process like before she received the vaccine?

According to Lam, she had to complete a survey using a QR code.

She also showed them her state identification card, a letter from her employer, which she said also contained their National Provider Identifier, as well as to prove her eligibility, and had her temperature checked.

"I filled out a consent form and was sent to one of the vaccine stations. Following the vaccination, we were required to wait at the facility for about 20 minutes for observation," She told New Straits Times.

When she was cleared to leave, they checked to see if she was experiencing any side effect.

I only had a sore arm and was able to resume my activities.
Sharon Lam

She says she was doubtful at first about the safety of the vaccine

"But I trust scientists and the world's greatest minds who came together to work on this," she told New Straits Times, adding, "As for doubts about its efficacy, trials have shown that it may provide up to 95% immunity with the completion of both doses and will reach a peak about two weeks after the second dose."

Lam is scheduled to obtain her second dose of the vaccine 28 days after her first inoculation.

She would have a four-day grace period after that time to ensure the inoculation had a maximum effect.

Sharon Lam showing her vaccination card after receiving the first of two doses of the Moderna vaccine in New York.

Image via New Straits Times

She shared that while she misses social activities like dining out and meeting friends in person, she feels lucky to be able to go to work

In New York, where COVID-19 has killed more than 42,000 people since the pandemic first struck in January last year. As of today, 24 January, New York has 796,501 active cases.

According to Lam, she's still grateful for the most part.

"I am lucky to be able to go to work and have workplaces that do their best to ensure safety measures are taken. Wearing a mask seemed uncomfortable at first, but I am now used to having it on for 10 to 12 hours a day at work," she shared, adding that she also wears eye protection, such as goggles or a face shield.

The first COVID-19 vaccines arrived in New York City last month

Following which, on 17 December, one of the first vaccines was administered to Veronica "Ronny" Delgado, the Lead Physician Assistant at the Elmhurst Hospital's Emergency Department.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misquoted the immunity efficacy percentage.

Read about how Malaysians here will be getting the vaccines:

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