As phase two of South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccination roll-out forges ahead, some Khayelitsha seniors got their jabs at The Umtha weLanga last Wednesday.
With the help of the NGO, the seniors registered and got the messages to go to the NGO’s premises to get vaccinated.
Talking to Vukani the day after getting their shots, Ntombomzi Jwambi, 71, and Mantombi Ngomana, 82, quelled all the fears about the vaccine and urged other seniors not to be scared of it.
Ms Jwambi said she had at first been reluctant to take it, but changed her mind after she was educated by Umtha weLanga volunteers.
She said their encouragement was vital because she had heard a lot of bad things about the vaccine. “I was one of those who thought this was a way to kill seniors. I was asking myself unanswerable questions like, why do they start with us and not the young ones. I thought we were being killed,” she said.
But, she said: “They were really good in explaining to us about it. I had to make a decision that I am in. Look now I feel healthier. Big up to the nurses too that were conducting this. I did not feel any pain and I still do not feel any pain,” she said showing her arm.
Ms Ngomana’s experience was the same. She told Vukani that people should not be concerned and should get vaccinated. “I never had doubts that this thing is important. We have seen Covid-19 taking our loved ones and we prayed for help. God has brought forward help and we are now questioning it. Let us come forward and be vaccinated. I am happy that I got mine,” she said.
She applauded the NGO for bringing the service closer to them. “Some of us would not have been able to go queue in the clinics or halls. Some of us live with grandchildren that go to school or have no money to take a taxi afar. For the hospital bringing their staff here is a commendable thing,” she said.
Umtha Welanga founder Vivinne Mciteka said it had been an emotional day and thanked the Site B Day Hospital staff for a well organised day and for using her space as a vaccination centre. “What an experience. Firstly, having this space as a centre was out of this world. We are grateful for the trust shown by the Health Department and the day hospital itself,” she said.
Ms Mciteka said they had registered 85 over-60s but only 50 were vaccinated. They will, however, let seniors know when the next round of vaccinations will take place.
“We felt that bringing the services to people was important. These are old people, some with one to look after and another cannot afford to go too far,” she said.