2 years on and finally the Ministry of Health gave approval for the use of the COVID-19 vaccine on children from age 5 and above. This resulted in two trains of thoughts amongst parents – some parents are relieved that the much awaited vaccine is finally ready for their child, i.e. protection against the virus. But some will be wondering, is the vaccine really safe for my child? What about the side effects? Will my child miss school?
Last Friday was 7-year-old Sarah Wong’s turn to receive her first dose of COVID-19 vaccine at the Woodlands Galaxy Community Club. She understood the importance of receiving the vaccine after her parents explained to her what the vaccine is about. Not only is she protecting herself from the virus, she is also keeping a lookout for her 1-year-old brother at home. The brave girl did not shed a tear during the vaccination and even struck a conversation with the staff administering the vaccine. For that, she was rewarded with a cute sticker and that brought a smile to the girl’s face.
Actually Sarah is not unfamiliar with the COVID virus. Just not long ago, Sarah’s mother was tested positive for COVID-19. Mummy had to be isolated for 10 days and could not have any contact with anyone, including family. Every day, Sarah and the rest of the family had a video call with Mummy over dinner. That was the closest they could get, thanks to technology.
In those 10 days, Sarah’s mummy did not stop worrying about passing the virus to the rest of the family, especially Sarah and her younger brother as they were the vulnerable ones. Another vulnerable person in the family is grandmother, who also shared a drink with mummy on the same day she was diagnosed. Fortunately grandma was spared from the virus, likely because she had already taken her booster shot by then and is very well-protected.
These 10 days of isolation was the longest 10 days in Mummy’s life. The fear of not knowing what was going to happen next kept her on her toes, specially when it wasn’t confirm if she was able to see her loved ones again. Almost every night, Sarah’s mummy had problems falling asleep because it was her first time staying alone in the house for such a long period of time. She looked forward to the daily ‘virtual dinner’ she had with the family. Fortunately her condition improved after the first few days and gradually positive thoughts filled her mind. “I am looking forward to leaving the house as soon as I am recovered and seeing you guys will be the first thing on my mind .” Sarah’s mummy said.
Now, Sarah hopes that this pandemic will go away soon, so that her dream of a holiday overseas becomes a reality. To entertain her, Daddy often played videos of Tokyo Disneyland on YouTube. She also misses the experience of playing at the playground, her favourite is sliding down the slide and she cannot wait to build a sandcastle at the beach with her little brother too.