Covid-19 vaccine comes as relief for nurses on front line
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Pretoria - City of Tshwane nurse Thabang Chauke-Adetula previously infected her entire family with Covid-19.
However, all that will soon be history as she has already registered for vaccination at the Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital.
Chauke-Adetula, one of the vaccinators at the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University facility, said she was more than ready to be vaccinated as she had already experienced how devastating the infection could be.
She said she had already spoken to colleagues and friends at the Steve Biko Academic Hospital last week about their experiences with the vaccine
The most important thing, she said, was for her to protect not only herself and patients, but also her family who she had already unknowingly infected.
Chauke-Adetula said she tested positive shortly after the initial influx of patients with Covid-19 started to arrive at the hospital. After a weekend off, she ended up infecting her mother, husband and two children.
“I spent three weeks in the hospital, and to make matters worse, I infected my mother who has a lot of co-morbidities; so getting this vaccine is very important as I don’t want to go through that ordeal again.
“When my mother first heard of the vaccines she told me not to visit her until I had been vaccinated. So I have registered and will wait to hear when I can come and get my dose.”
Another nurse Margaret Modutoane, stationed at the accident and emergency unit at the Dr George Mukhari was vaccinated this week and said she was happy.
She said considering that she dealt with a high number of patients who came in at the worst stage of the virus, she was relieved to finally have some form of protection against it.
“Most of my fellow staff members are waiting for me to get vaccinated and to sort of give them that push and that is why I came here, I have no doubts about it at all.”
Speaking at the official opening of the vaccination station, Deputy Minister of Health Dr Joe Phaahla urged medical professionals to register for vaccination. The site is the fourth in the province.
Phaahla, who was with MEC for Health Nomathemba Mokgethi, was among the first people to get the jab at the hospital.
Following the brief observation period being vaccinated, he said although he was anxious about the whole procedure he was in much higher spirits and was yet to experience any side-effects.
He said he had also been comforted by the fact that Mokgethi, who received her shot at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital two weeks ago, had not experienced any severe side effects.
“I must admit that I was very anxious, but the MEC assured me that after inoculation she didn’t feel anything like dizziness, fever and other mild side effects. We just don’t want to mislead people that we will all react the same way.
“With all vaccinations and medications from time to time, we react differently even if you haven’t had a reaction before because this is a new substance to deal with this virus.”
Despite this caution, Phaahla said that the vaccines were safe and had been tested, but took the opportunity to urge medical professionals to register themselves to get vaccinated.
The opening of the George Mukhari Academic Hospital and the Charlotte Maxeke vaccination sites bring the total number of vaccination sites in the province to four.
The first two to be opened were the Steve Biko Academic Hospital in Tshwane and Chris Hani Baragwanath on February 17.
Mokgethi said although in the beginning the sites usually started off slowly due to registration and internet problems the following day in most cases went even better.
According to Mokgethi, the province had managed to inoculate and use all the doses allocated, along with the additional 3 000 doses sent to the Steve Biko Hospital.
She added that both sites had managed to finish vaccinations within just nine days ahead of the 14-day target set.
“I’m very happy and appreciative to all the vaccinators for putting in the long hours, making sure everyone that is registered and has a voucher is able to access the vaccination.
“Charlotte Maxeke hospital launched yesterday and everything went smoothly and we’re even confident with the current doses we will be able to finish them on time.”
Mokgethi said to date they had received more than 17 000 doses, and had to vaccinate health-care workers from both the private and public institutions.
She said they had received 17 812 health-care workers while their allocation was initially 16 800, which was bolstered by the new additions.
Professor Eunice Seekoe, acting vice-chancellor at Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University, added that as part of the partnership with the department, they would be looking at training students in their final year of studies to carrying out vaccinations.