Fear of needles put aside to get jab
SINSILE Vapi, a caretaker at Sonwabo Primary School in Gugulethu, put his fear of needles aside to be among the first group in the education sector to be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Still dressed in his work clothes, Vapi, 48, who has been working at the school for about 10 years, said he was motivated by his wife to get the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at the Pinelands EMS site yesterday, and had no regrets.
“I was informed by the school principal on Tuesday that we would go together to get vaccinated. The thought of being injected made me nervous at first, but I wanted to get it and my wife was also very supportive. The staff were gentle and I feel no difference than before the vaccine was administered.
“I encourage others to come, there is really nothing to fear. People will see this is a quick process.”
Eugenia Paulo-Goagoses of Masiphatisane Primary School travelled from Vredenburg on the West Coast to become the first teacher to receive the jab.
The 29-year-old has the same fear of needles as Vapi.
“There is a bit of numbness in the arm but it was not painful. This was not as bad as I had anticipated. I'm a person of faith so I believe this is a solution for this current situation, and hopefully it will help to bring back a sense of normality,” Paulo-Goagoses said.
Teacher Sarah Capstick-Dale of Good Hope Seminary said she was the only person in her family who had not been vaccinated, and was looking forward to getting the jab.
Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said yesterday's roll-out went smoothly, which could be attributed to the group of 50 people who were vaccinated.
The Pinelands EMS site will ramp up operations to 1 100 vaccinations a day, while the Tygerberg Hospital site will administer 1 400 daily. They are the mass vaccination sites in the metro. A further 27 sites of varying sizes are dispersed across the province and will carry out 20 to 250 vaccinations a day.
Schäfer said: “Education was one of the sectors that was hit hard by the pandemic. We have had so many disruptions and school closures over the past year due to Covid-19.
“About 75% of the 55 200 want to be vaccinated.”