COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects: What To Expect & How To Prepare For Your Appointment

Eunis Ong
Eunis Ong
19 Jul 2021
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Gotten Your Vaccination Appointment?

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As of the end of June 2021, 5.4M people in Malaysia have received their first vaccine dose since the vaccination rollout in February. We are far but steadily on the path towards achieving a vaccination rate of at least 70% of the nation's population, which will mark life returning to normalcy after a painful battle against the global pandemic.
With more and more Malaysians getting vaccinated in the recent months, we've prepared a special guide on things to note when you prepare for your vaccination (whether it's Pfizer, Sinovac, or AstraZeneca), with a focus on vaccine side effects that you can expect, including severe ones that require extra monitoring!
More vaccine FAQs here:

Who Are More Prone To Vaccine Side Effects?

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It has been highlighted that side effects are more commonly observed among people under the age of 55 years (and those under the age of 65 for the AstraZeneca vaccine). Based on studies, those who obtain the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine commonly report symptoms after their second dose while those who've gotten the Sinovac and AstraZeneca vaccine have a higher tendency to face side effects after their first dose.

Common Vaccine Side Effects

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Do note that side effects are common upon getting vaccinated - in fact, these side effects are proof that your body is building immunity and typically only last for a couple of days. It is important to note that they also vary based on individuals and should not be of huge concern.
Common vaccine side effects:
  • Pain, swelling, & tenderness at the injection site
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Joint pains
  • Fever and chills
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Decreased appetite
For those who have work the next day, you are encouraged to notify your superior about your appointment in case you'll need to apply for a day off the following day!
#KlookTip: To reduce pain and discomfort on your injection site, you can apply a clean, cool, and wet washcloth over it. You may also take over-the-counter medicines such as panadol to relieve post-vaccination side effects (p/s: it is not recommended to take these medicines before your vaccination - only take it after if you're feeling unwell!).

Side Effects To Be Worried About

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covid-19 vaccine side effects mysejahtera app report
Report Your Side Effects On The MySejahtera App!
Individuals are advised to seek medical attention if they experience uncommon an uncomfortable symptoms within a month since your vaccine dose. The MySejahtera app has a feature to submit reports if you suspect that you're suffering from vaccine side effects.
Take note of these severe side effects:
  • Severe & persistent headaches (that don't improve with painkillers)
  • Headaches that seem worse when lying down or bending over
  • Blurred vision, nausea, and vomiting
  • Weakness, drowsiness, or seizures
  • Shortness of breath or chest pains
  • Swelling of legs or persistent abdominal pain
  • Difficulty with your speech
  • Pinpoint spots on skin or skin bruising

What About The Risk Of Blood Clots With The AstraZeneca Vaccine?

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The risk of developing rare but potentially life-threatening blood clots known as thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS) has been a global concern when it comes to the AstraZeneca vaccine. However, health regulators have emphasized that TTS is a possible yet extremely rare side effect, reported only in approximately 9.3 cases per million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Most cases of the syndrome have been seen between 4 days to a few weeks after the AstraZeneca jab, so you are recommended to observe your side effects for up to a month and seek medical attention promptly if you observe any of the above severe side effects. The quicker a case is identified, the higher your chance of getting treated (according to a report by BBC, current evidence shows that 75% of people survive from the life-threatening syndrome).

How Long Do You Need To Monitor Your Side Effects?

Based on research, vaccine side effects commonly appear the day after your vaccination and subsequently resolve over the next few days. Most people report feeling much better after resting for a full day after their vaccination. As mentioned above, you are recommended to keep observing your side effects for up to a month just to be safe!

Preparing For Your Vaccination Appointment

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Things to bring along for your vaccine appointment:
  • Your IC or passport
  • Mobile phone with registered MySejahtera App
  • A pen for filling up the consent form
P/S: Leave early to reach the vaccination centre at least 15 - 30 minutes before your vaccine appointment! Flash your vaccination appointment details on the MySejahtera App, website, or SMS if you get stopped by authorities at roadblocks.
Vaccination after-care:
  • Drink lots of water to keep yourself well-hydrated
  • Get sufficient bed rest if you're feeling unwell
  • Have over-the-counter medication such as panadol on standby
  • Monitor your side effects and report them/seek medical attention if you're experiencing severe effects

More FAQs About The COVID-19 Vaccine

Need A Swab Test?

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Need a swab? You can now book drive-thru, walk-in, and in-home COVID-19 swab tests on Klook from as low as RM200! Reliable swab test services bookable on Klook: