Sunday World

COVID-19 shot a scary experience, but relief at last

People in line happy to get vaccinated

- By Somaya Stockenstr­oom

As pro-vaccine as I am, getting the first of two doses of the Pfizer vaccine was a scary thought this week.

I couldn’t drown out the “what if I get sick” voice inside my head even though I’ve researched that vaccines are safe. But I put on a brave face, got dressed up in fabulous winter gear given the almost minus degrees, and headed to my nearest vaccinatio­n centre, Fleurhof Recreation Centre on Wednesday afternoon.

But as Murphy’s law would have it, they only had enough doses for six people and I was seventh in line. So, I made my way to the next site, the Danie van Zyl community hall in Claremont, west of Joburg.

There were almost 50 cars in the parking lot and a long queue. But a security guard turned me away, saying they too had run of doses as it was already 3pm.

I went back to Fleurhof the following day and the process was quick and efficient. It was heart-warming to see my age group, the 35 to 49-year-olds as the majority in the room.

There were also some elderly folk.

Mercy Mofokeng (68) said she was doing this to not only be healthy, but to also dance at her grandchild­ren’s wedding one day.

“I was lucky that I never got sick all this time. I stayed indoors most of the time and I am glad I am now getting the vaccine,” she said.

The nurse administer­ing the vaccine said they get about 150 doses a day and since opening on Monday this week, they successful­ly finished all the daily doses.

Keenan Davids said he was happy that he just scraped through to qualify to be jabbed as he celebrated his 35th birthday in June.

“I was in contact with people who had Covid-19 and also lost a close friend, who was not even 40 yet to the virus. I am happy to do this, but just wish it could have come sooner for people like my friend. It’s sad that not everyone, especially younger people who have other illnesses, are not prioritise­d,” he said.

Karen Michaels, 54, said her husband has severe comorbidit­ies but refused to be vaccinated. She said she was getting the vaccine to protect herself and also to motivate him.

“Maybe he will be convinced now especially if he sees that none of the negative vaccine he reads on social media is true,” said Michaels.

The only uncomforta­ble part of this process was exposing the arm in the cold. The jab was quick and painless, and after 10 minutes in the waiting area to check for adverse reactions, we were educated on possible side effects and told to return in September for the second shot.

 ??  ?? The Fleurhof vaccinatio­n centre is fully operationa­l.
The Fleurhof vaccinatio­n centre is fully operationa­l.

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