A mother, father and adult daughter with bandaids on their arms

My Family’s COVID Shots

As a lung cancer patient, I am at a higher chance for a more severe impact of COVID-19 should I get sick. I am fortunate my targeted therapy does not suppress my immune system so I still have a good chance to fight infections.

My cancer doctor had recommended taking the first COVID vaccine that was readily available. My family increases the COVID vaccine uptake for the main purpose of protecting ourselves and others.

My family’s COVID vaccine

At least four COVID vaccines are currently available and approved for use. Like other vaccines, my family were each responsible to know the types of vaccines offered to me, whether a mRNA or a viral vector one. There is a limited supply in the city I lived so they set the first dose for health care workers as priority.

Next was according to age from oldest down to 12 years old. I am thankful my husband and children had no hesitancy on getting their vaccine. They chose to protect me and the people around them.

Advocating 4 weeks not 4 months

In the city where I lived, the second dose eligibility was not clear at first. I joined with lung cancer patient and other cancer patient groups to advocate the government of having the second dose within four weeks from the first dose instead of the initial plan of four months. You see the cry of proper second dose administration in different social media platform. There were also Zoom meetings with local politicians. Letters of appeal and TV appearances in advocating for the right timing of the second dose.

Our first COVID dose side effects

My family took our first COVID jabs in May 2021. Most of us had sore arm where we got the shot for almost two days. We exercise our arms to reduce the pain or even apply a hot cloth over the area. However, my daughter, one of my sons, and son-in-law had more side effects. For them lots of rest and fluids really reduced their discomfort within a few days.

Our second doses

We need two shots in order to be considered fully vaccinated. More protection from COVID and variant of concern increases after the second COVID shot. We are waiting for our turn on getting our second doses. Moreover, there are go signal on getting another kind of COVID vaccine different from your first dose. My family prefers to have the same kind of vaccine as the first one.

Hopeful for a brighter future

We all want the coronavirus pandemic to be over. I hope COVID vaccines uptake will increase so we can end this ordeal. There are still group of people who are reluctant to receiving the COVID shots. I hope the public health authorities can reach these unsure or unwilling to get a vaccine. They should communicate more information about vaccine safety, how vaccine works, and importance of protecting others against COVID infection.

Let us all play an important role in putting the COVID pandemic to rest. We are in this together.

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