Speech Therapist Candice Randal was among the medical frontline workers at Tygerberg Hospital who received her Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine jab. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).
Speech Therapist Candice Randal was among the medical frontline workers at Tygerberg Hospital who received her Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine jab. Picture: Ian Landsberg/African News Agency (ANA).

Nearly 400 healthcare workers vaccinated against Covid-19 in the Western Cape

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Feb 19, 2021

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Cape Town - The Western Cape government is making steady progress as it administers its 13 000 Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine does.

This is according to Premier Alan Winde who said that by 5pm on Thursday, 385 people had been vaccinated in the Western Cape.

“Vaccination will also continue over the weekend as we work to deliver the 13000 J&J vaccine single dose vaccines to healthcare workers in the Western Cape, as part of the implementation study,” Winde said.

“I have been so heartened to see photos of healthcare workers being vaccinated this week, and to hear early reports that they are feeling well and are back at work.”

The premier also revealed that according to the latest Covid-19 statistics, as of 1pm today, the Western Cape has 4 759 active infections with a total of 273 354 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

There have also been and 257 587 recoveries, 1 303 425 tests conducted and there are 1 382 people in hospital, with 304 people currently ICU or high care.

He added that he is very proud of the Western Cape healthcare workers for their hard work in making history.

“This past week, we saw history unfold as Sister Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi, from the Khayelitsha hospital, became the first healthcare worker in the country to be vaccinated,” Winde said.

“I am also extremely proud that it was a Western Cape healthcare worker, Sister Milanie Bennett, who vaccinated President Cyril Ramaphosa this week.”

When speaking with African News Agency, Bennett shared how she felt when vaccinating President Cyril Ramaphosa.

“I feel very proud and honoured to have administered the first vaccine today. We made history, and I am very proud to have been a part of it.

“I am thankful for the vaccine and the role I play in administering it. We are now part of making history by fighting Covid-19 through the vaccine. The vaccine will save countless lives,” Bennett said.

She has been looking forward to the vaccine roll-out since completing her vaccinator training and is registered on the database to receive it herself once her turn comes.

City of Cape Town nurse, Nombini Ndzishe, the HIV/TB programme manager at Luvuyo clinic in Khayelitsha, was also one of the first to receive the Covid-19 vaccine and said that she didn’t hesitate when she was offered the opportunity to receive the vaccine.

“My elderly mother and young granddaughter live with me, and before I could go home each night, I had to wash my clothes and change before I could go to them.

“It was challenging to ensure not only that I stayed safe, but that I did all I could to ensure their safety.”

Ndzishe, who lives in Kuils River, said she continued to enjoy her job despite the additional measures.

“As a little girl, I wanted to have a profession which required me to wear a uniform. Seeing the progress made by my patients is what wakes me up in the morning. During their first visits, they are discouraged and watching them transform into hopeful, healthier people makes each day worth it.

“I was excited to be among the first to receive the vaccine alongside the president. The actual injection didn’t hurt and I have had no side effects. I want to encourage people to take the vaccine when it becomes available to them. I am doing all I can to keep myself, my family, my patients and those around me safe,” Ndzishe said.

Winde thanked the frontline workers for the job they have done over the past year as “throughout the hardest parts of this pandemic, they have been symbols of comfort and care”.

“Now, as we launch this historical rollout, and many are stepping up as vaccinators and to be vaccinated, they are symbols of hope.

“As we continue the work to rollout this batch of vaccines and others, it remains vitally important for all of us to continue to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves, and others by wearing our masks, washing our hands and by avoiding close contact, confined spaces and crowds,” Winde said.

Cape Argus

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