Memorable vaccination centre moments
Singapore is a country that’s fast-paced and ever-changing, so it’s little wonder that our vaccination centres operate with clock-like efficiency. From checking in, registration and being briefed, most of us barely wait five minutes before we’re seated in front of a vaccination nurse, sleeves rolled, and fully braced for the needle.
But for nurses who experience hundreds of these brief encounters each day, their long, tedious hours have been made all the more meaningful with these memorable moments at their various vaccination centres.
Disclaimer: Images in this article are for illustrative purposes only.
1. Patient who fainted from fear after seeing the needle
Image credit: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance
For Rachel, 32, it was another long busy day in her 1.5×1.5M cubicle when a visibly fearful man in his 20s enters for his first dose. After running through the routine checks with the patient and administering the jab, she watches the patient rise to his feet, walk toward the waiting area, and promptly fall like a sack of potatoes to the ground.
“I was so relieved to see that staff nearby had spotted his shaky gait and swooped in to cushion his fall,” Rachel shares. “Turns out, he had fainted because he had a very serious fear of needles – but hadn’t declared his history of fainting.”
Although it was definitely quite a shocking experience in her otherwise fast-paced and repetitive role, Rachel says that she was encouraged by this experience. Thinking back, the patient probably had to confront his fear of needles to protect himself and those around him.
2. Heartwarming interactions with grateful elderly patients
Image credit: SMU
We all know that one elderly relative who refuses to get vaccinated despite constant pleas from family and the government. But while some younger Singaporeans might feel that our seniors can be quite a stubborn bunch, Natasha, 27, has had quite a different experience.
In the early stages of Singapore’s nationwide vaccination campaign, patients consisted mostly of the elderly. Though it was a struggle to convey health advisories and to run through the extensive list of pre-jab questions, Natasha shares that many elderly patients were deeply grateful and offered plenty of encouragement and praise.
In particular, Natasha fondly remembers one senior patient. “This lady, who was in her 70s, was saying in Mandarin about how she really appreciates frontliners for doing this for everyone.”
“I was touched, but my heart broke when she then shared about how the situation had been tough for her financially and emotionally. She couldn’t clock in hours for her temporary job as a cleaner, and couldn’t visit her ageing siblings and friends as often.”
Image credit: Raffles Medical Group
Natasha feels that many seniors have been misunderstood by the younger generations, especially during this pandemic.
“Many seniors are apprehensive about getting vaccinated because they are already on several courses of medication, and are worried about additional side effects and health issues,” Natasha says. “For those who are healthier, many of them are actually very excited to get vaccinated, and proud to do whatever they can to help the community get back to normal.”
3. Mobile vaccination nurse witnesses staff and residents doing their part
Image credit: Indranee Rajah
To ensure nobody gets left behind, Mobile Vaccination Teams do rounds around our island to reach out to smaller communities and the elderly who are unable to travel far distances.
John, 25, a mobile vaccination nurse, was serving at a Resident’s Corner when a frail, elderly woman came in perspiring, panting and leaning on her trolley for support while making her way to their makeshift waiting area. During the vaccination process, the team found out that she lives alone nearby, and that walking is rather painful and difficult for her.
“We always worry when we find out that elderly patients live alone because no one will be able to look out for allergic reactions to the vaccine,”John explains. “But when I chatted with this aunty, I was surprised and heartened to hear that she gets all sorts of support from her neighbours and church community.”
Apart from regularly assisting her in buying groceries and cooking for her, her neighbours also fetch her to medical appointments. In fact, they were the ones who notified her about the mobile vaccination drive, and helped her find out details like the opening hours and brand of vaccine.
“It was very heartwarming to know that her neighbours and church community have helped to make her life much easier,” John shares. “And as if that wasn’t touching enough, after her jab, the manager of the Residents Corner went out of his way to buy food for her, before obtaining a wheelchair to personally see her home.”
4. Nurse goes viral on TikTok after patient records kind gesture
Image credit: @fatwabro
For most of us, our social media feeds have been flooded over the past month by friends flexing their vaccination experience on Instagram. But whether it’s to show off their super-early slots or their Pfizer doses, it has definitely helped build awareness for Singapore’s vaccination process. In early July, TikToker Luqmaan went a step further by using this platform to spread kindness and positivity.
In the short video snippet that went viral with close to 130,000 views, Luqmaan picks up some sweets on the way to his second vaccination appointment, before recording a lighthearted candid exchange between the men during the jab itself.
Luqmaan then hands the nurse a chocolate bar and gummies, saying, “You are doing your best to help Singapore, here you go.”
“As a vaccination nurse, work hours some days stretch from 9AM to 10PM, and we can process up to 200 vaccinations a day,” Hanifah, 33, who the nurse who processed Luqmaan’s vaccination, shares. “I was glad to let Luqmaan film the vaccination process, but his surprise gift definitely brightened my day.”
But what truly made the encounter memorable was the reaction of fellow Singaporeans to the touching video. “I was so surprised that the TikTok went viral, and was very grateful to see hundreds of encouraging, kind comments from everyone,” Hanifah says.
Protect your friends and loved ones the Great Covid Care Plan
Image credit: Heng Swee Keat
With our national vaccination rates steadily rising each day, everyone has a part to play to ensure we’re all protected from the virus. But while we book our jabs and keep up our personal hygiene, Great Eastern is also doing its part with the GREAT Covid Care Plan that gives extra protection against Covid-19 even as new, more infectious and dangerous variants emerge.
Available free of charge, this 12-month plan provides cash payouts of up to $2,000 should you be hospitalised locally or abroad due to Covid-19. Available for all Singapore residents, the GREAT Covid Care Plan also covers children under 18 to ensure the whole family is protected.
Whether you’re a new applicant or an existing policyholder, all you have to do is obtain your first vaccination dose, and apply for the plan online. Be quick – the campaign ends 30th September 2021.
*T&Cs apply. Protected up to specified limits by SDIC.
This article was brought to you by Great Eastern