Makati Vaccine (Pfizer) – My experience and side effects from 2 doses

This post was revised on July 17 to reflect my second dose of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

I got my first and second dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Palanan Elementary School, Makati City. I was prepared to get Sinovac because that’s what most people have been getting, but to my surprise, the vaccine was Pfizer!

Palanan Elementary School, Makati City

Getting a schedule for vaccination in Makati

For the first dose:

I registered for vaccination on June 17 through the Makati COVID-19 Vaccine website with allergic rhinitis as a comorbidity. Since I have a comorbidity, my classification is “A3”. Good thing I acquired a prescription for my allergic rhinitis attacks just a few days ago, through Medgate’s phone consultation. I uploaded a clear picture of the prescription to the registration website. I thought I would get a text with a schedule by June 19, because other Makati residents that I know with comorbidity got a text 2 days after registration, but I didn’t. On June 23, 5 days after registration, I received a text stating that my schedule for the first dose is on June 25. I appreciated the 2-day notice. From what I heard, most people were only given 1 day (or less) of notice, and it made me anxious because the nature of my work is date-sensitive.

For the second dose:

The nurse who injected my first dose advised me to come to the same place after 21 days, any time in the morning, even without receiving a text for the second dose’s schedule. She said they might have already ran out of vaccine in the afternoon, so I should go in the morning.

2 days before my second dose schedule, I received a text telling me to come at 2:30PM! I ignored the text, and just followed the nurse’s advice to come in the morning. I was worried they might not let me in if I went there before 2:30PM, but no one asked me for the text from BAKUNAMKT.

What to bring for vaccination in Makati?

Things that are essential to bring aside from the mask and face shield that you’re probably already wearing are a valid ID, recent medical certificate or prescription if you’re with comorbidity, and a pen. Other things to bring for your comfort are your own hand sanitizer, a bottle of water, a light snack, and patience. The process could take a while.

On your second dose schedule, bring the same items plus your “Covid-19 Immunization Record Card”.

How long did it take for me to get vaccinated in Makati?

Waiting time for my first dose:

I was ready to go alone to Palanan Elementary School but my husband wanted to come along. Being accompanied by a loved one is always welcome. 🙂 There’s a waiting area where anyone may sit, but there are certain steps where only people who will be vaccinated may stay. The process was hassle-free except for the last 2 steps.

The steps to the vaccination process in Palanan Elementary School are as follows:

  1. Registration
  2. Counseling
  3. Screening (includes blood pressure and temperature check, as well as a convo with a doctor)
  4. Vaccination
  5. Monitoring (re-checking of blood pressure and temperature, and handing over of free paracetamol)
  6. Survey (final assessment of patient, verification of your registration information)

We arrived at Palanan Elementary School at around 11:30AM. The processes from steps 1-4 were fast and efficient. I received my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine by 12:30PM. They even allowed us patients to take videos of ourselves getting jabbed. Steps 5 to 6, which included Monitoring and Survey made me stay longer than necessary because of minor issues. I was starting to become groggy after getting vaccinated at Step 4 and just wished I could rest at home ASAP.

Makati COVID-19 Immunization Record Card, while lining up for the Monitoring step.

I got held up at the Monitoring Area because our batch wasn’t informed that we were supposed to hand over the “Covid-19 Immunization Record Card” to the staff at the table, so our names were called last. If only the staff outside the Monitoring Area had instructed us to do so, then we wouldn’t have been delayed. One of them even liked removing his mask from time to time. At a vaccination site? Why? The staff at the other areas were more reliable.

After that, we lined up for the Survey step. As we were in the line, a new batch of people walked past us (They were in line behind me earlier. Nope, not seniors.) and without a word, were ushered by the staff to proceed straight to the Survey Area! I was starting to feel cranky. I really hope there was a valid reason why the newcomers were given priority. My luck was just as bad when it was my turn at the Survey step. Their pocket wifi stopped working before my details were submitted online! After a few failed retry attempts, the staff just took a photo of my ID and Covid-19 Immunization Record Card, front and back, and then allowed me to go home. I hope there won’t be any trouble with my records!

After all the wait and tests of patience, that was it! I had my first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 Vaccine.

At 1:30PM, since I was done with all the steps, I went straight to my husband in the waiting area.

“How are you feeling?” He asked.

“Cranky,” I replied, with that usual blank expression on my face.

It was about to rain so I ran towards the photo ops area and while holding some vax props, asked him to take my photo for remembrance.

The entire process took a total of 2 hours to complete for my first dose.

Waiting time for my second dose:

My second dose was a breeze! I arrived at Palanan Elementary School around 9:30AM, and there wasn’t a lot of people in line. It seemed that everyone who was there with me were also lining up for their second dose.

No one asked for my comorbidity’s med cert / prescription anymore. Just my vax card and ID. The Survey section (the very last step) was having a problem with Internet connectivity again but it didn’t take as long as before to resolve.

At 10:30AM I was ready to go home. That makes a total of 1 hour to get my second dose. I hear that it takes up to 6 hours of waiting in other places to get jabbed, so I consider myself extremely lucky.

Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine side effects on me

My first dose side effects:

About 3 hours after receiving my first Pfizer dose, the side effects that I was feeling were grogginess, minor headache, pain at the spot where I got jabbed, and numbness of the arm. I expect to feel unwell for a minimum of 3 days based on my previous flu and pneumonia vaccination.

//Update: After a few more hours, my mind was blacking out and it was getting difficult to move my body. I fell into light sleep and felt a bit better upon waking up. The pain in the arm that got jabbed wasn’t so bad unless I raise it entirely.

//Update: 1 day after getting my first dose of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine, my migraine was terrible. It was so bad that I wanted to claw my eyeballs out of their sockets. It felt like I was gonna transform into another being! (Sorry, I watched too many fantasy shows.) Rest, as well as drinking hot chamomile tea and clear warm soup helped me get through this day. No fever or body pains.

//Update: 2 days after my first dose, I had mild migraine. Still felt more sluggish than usual (I am a languid person on normal days) so I gave my body a chance to rest. Not as bad as yesterday, but I felt woozy. I spent minutes looking for my laptop that day, only to realize that I stored it in the pantry with food items. 😬

//Update: 3 days after my first dose of Pfizer vaccine, the migraine was gone but I got tired easily. I avoided high-intensity exercise on this day, lest I get a fever as my body takes in the effects of the vaccine.

//Update: 4 days after my first dose wasn’t bad. It felt like I was more or less back to normal. Just a little bit fatigued, but that may be from the high volume of work I had to do that day.

My second dose side effects:

Like in my first dose, I almost instantly felt sleepy after getting jabbed on my left arm. Several hours later on that day, I had the expected migraine. It felt like I was gonna grow horns near my eye sockets! Standing up every now and then to walk slowly around the house lessened the migraine. And oh, my left foot had a slight pain too.

//Update: 1 day after my second dose, I felt really fatigued, with sensitive skin, and achy muscles. The migraine and foot pain were gone, but the spot where I got jabbed and a spot near my left armpit were swollen. I wanted to do some Cookies PH R&D work today but I couldn’t even get started, thanks to my weakened arms. My mental function was affected too — I tried watching anime with subtitles, but I could hardly finish reading the subs before they disappeared! 😂 After lunch, I felt really tired so I laid in bed to rest. When I opened my eyes it was already dark outside! I knew I really needed to recover because normally, I’m an insomniac who hardly ever falls into a nap. In the evening I had a slight fever, but my temperature quickly went down after laying in bed with a cup of warm herbal tea. Maybe too much movement from whipping up some snacks led to the fever. Hehe!

//Update: 2 days after my second dose, my head felt clearer, but my arm and armpit became more swollen than the day before. Body still felt weak, but definitely better.

//Update: 3 and 4 days after my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, my body pains were all gone but I still felt more sluggish and hungrier than usual. Anybody else felt an increased appetite after getting vaccinated?

Yeah, I could say that the second dose affected me more. I’ll try to update this section if I feel other side effects in the succeeding days.

Me receiving the vaccine

A lot of my acquaintances are getting vaccinated these days. If you aren’t yet, I hope you get your doses soon!

On getting a booster shot for extra COVID-19 protection…

I want to get a booster shot soon, but several months ago I developed chronic idiopathic urticaria (idiopathic means the cause is unknown) and I’m afraid of the booster vaccine might make it worse. It started after I got my 2nd Pfizer vaccine shot but I doubt the vaccine caused it because there was a month of interval. People who get urticaria from vaccines usually develop hives about 2 weeks after the jab. I’ll consult with my allergologist maybe on February when she gets back if she thinks it’s alright to get a booster shot.

Update 2022: Finally got my first COVID Vaccine Booster on September 6, 2022!

I decided to finally get a booster, again from the Pfizer brand. No adverse reaction! Side effects were the same as my first and second doses. I wasn’t able to function well for 2 days, but after that I was more or less back to normal.

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An odd human being who happens to have a variety of ever-changing interests, but right now they are programming, making up silly song/rap lyrics, K-pop, drawing, creating unique dessert/drink flavors, obsessing about finding out how some things works, automation, anime, video games... Ran online dessert shops Cookies PH and Catzie's Cakery in her past life.

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