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City Nurse Among First to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine in South Africa

20 February 2021


A Cape Town nurse was one of the first people in the country to receive the COVID-19 vaccine this month, alongside President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Sister Nombini Ndzishe, the HIV/TB programme manager at Luvuyo clinic in Khayelitsha, says she did it to protect herself and her family.

“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,” said Ndzishe. “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.

Her selfless action was commended by the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services & Health, Zahid Badroodien.

“Sister Ndzishe has shown courage by stepping up and receiving the vaccine,” said Councillor Badroodien. “We realise vaccines are a controversial subject, partly because of the misinformation that is going around. I encourage residents to ask questions and make sure they get answers from reputable sources.”

The City of Cape Town is working with provincial and national health authorities to ensure a smooth, efficient and effective roll out once more vaccines become available.

“Vaccination is our primary method of prevention in terms of COVID-19,” added Badroodien. “Until we reach the point where everyone can be protected, we must all continue to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols and continue to sanitise our hands regularly, wear a mask and maintain social distancing of 1,5 metres at all times.”


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