ARCHBISHOP Emeritus Desmond Tutu, 89, was among the first of the over 60s in the Western Cape to receive his vaccination. | Supplied
ARCHBISHOP Emeritus Desmond Tutu, 89, was among the first of the over 60s in the Western Cape to receive his vaccination. | Supplied

Archbishop Tutu leads the way for over 60s to get the Covid-19 vaccine

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published May 18, 2021

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Cape Town - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, 89, was among the first of the over 60s in the Western Cape to receive his vaccination as the province and the rest of the country began Phase 2 of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out.

Tutu was following through on his pledge to be vaccinated against the coronavirus as soon as one became available to him.

During the actual vaccination process, at the Brooklyn Chest Hospital in Milnerton, Tutu, who is left-handed, offered the vaccinator his right arm for the jab and laughed at her joke about him not being pregnant as she went through the list of questions that people getting vaccinated need to answer.

After the vaccination Tutu said: “All my life I have tried to do the right thing and, today, getting vaccinated against Covid-19 is definitely the right thing to do. That’s why Leah and I took this step, to do our part to start the national healing process so we can end this pandemic. We have to do this together.

“Believe me, when you get to our age, little needles worry you far less than bending over does.

“It was wonderful to get out of the house and meet these dedicated healthcare workers who gave us our vaccines. Leah and I signed up to be vaccinated a while ago, because we know this will help save our loved ones from worry and heartbreak, and ourselves from this terrible disease.”

PREMIER Alan Winde thanked Archbishop Tutu for following through on his pledge. | Supplied

Tutu paid homage to frontline health workers for their dedication in the time since the pandemic began.

Premier Alan Winde, who was at the hospital to join those who have registered for their vaccine in the Milnerton district, thanked Archbishop Tutu for following through on his pledge.

Winde said: “It was a great honour to join Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife, Leah, for their vaccines at Brooklyn Chest Hospital today, marking the start of Phase 2 of our mass vaccination programme.

“As we rollout Phase 2, I want to remind residents who are eligible to register for their vaccine. I also call on those who aren’t yet eligible to play their part in assisting those who are with registering. The time has come to fight back against Covid-19 so #LetsDoThis Western Cape.”

Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation chief executive Piyushi Kotecha said: “We at the Tutu Foundation would like to thank Premier Winde and the Western Cape government for their organisation of today’s critical milestone in the healing of our country.

“We’re relieved that the Arch and Mrs Tutu have now been vaccinated against Covid-19 and support the call for all eligible citizens over the age of 60 who have not yet signed up for the jab to do so urgently.”

The Brooklyn Chest Hospital in Milnerton is one of the designated provincial vaccination sites. The other sites are Helderberg Hospital; Mitchells Plain Hospital; Khayelitsha Hospital; Karl Bremer Hospital; Brackenfell Clinic and Albow Gardens Clinic.

On Sunday the leaders of all political parties represented in the legislature released a joint appeal to encourage residents 60 years and older to register for their Covid-19 vaccine.

In their statement Winde (DA); Cameron Dugmore (ANC); Melikhaya Xego (EFF); Brett Herron (Good); Ferlon Christians (ACDP); Peter Marais (FF+) and Galil Brinkhuis (Al Jama-Ah) committed themselves to disseminating the latest vaccine registration information to their councillors, community leaders, constituents and members.

“We acknowledge that some residents still have concerns about the vaccine and its safety. We collectively encourage all people who are still unsure to seek out the facts on the vaccine from reliable sources.”

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Cape Argus

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