Young and proudly vaccinated

Vaccination sites in Nelson Mandela Bay happy to oblige as over-35s rock up for 'walk-in' jabs moments after registration opens

Sizwe Tutu, 43, was one of many to receive his jab as over-35s joined queues to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Sizwe Tutu, 43, was one of many to receive his jab as over-35s joined queues to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

It did not take the over-35s long to line up and get their jabs on Thursday, just moments after registration opened.

And many were soon sharing their experiences on social media, calling for others to do the same.

Vaccination sites all over Nelson Mandela Bay saw the youngest eligible age group rock up in the hopes of a “walk-in” vaccination, and vaccination centres were more than happy to oblige.

Phillip Botha, 37, registered for his vaccine on Wednesday and on Thursday arrived at the Dis-Chem vaccination site in the Baywest Shopping Centre. An hour later, he left the mall and could not have been more pleased with the service.

“I don’t understand why people are reluctant to get the vaccine,” he said. “Looking at all the medical proof out there, and the handful out of millions of people who have suffered some side-effects, you’ve got a better chance of being hit by a car.”

Botha was keen to get the jab as soon as possible because of a job opportunity overseas. He said he needed the clearance to travel.

“This vaccine is the way of the future. I need to get two jabs and get that little medical passport,” he said.

At the same site, Archie and Vuyokazi Hlongwa, both 45, said they were pleasantly surprised by how quick the vaccination process was, considering they did not have an appointment.

“Our understanding is that even if the vaccine does not fully prevent you from getting Covid-19, at least your symptoms won’t be as severe. If we can get away with a mild flu and not end up in hospital on a ventilator, I think it will be worth the hour we spent in line today,” Archie said.

Allison Olivier and her husband Russell visited the vaccination site at Nelson Mandela University, where Allison works, on Thursday and had a “seamless, positive experience”.

Allison, who had Covid-19 in 2020, said their decision to be vaccinated was easy after experiencing for themselves how destructive the virus could be.

“Of course, a certain amount of fear for the vaccine is expected, but at the end of the day our fear of Covid-19 is far worse,” she said.

“We chose to be vaccinated to prevent ourselves from being hospitalised or passing away should we contract the virus. And ultimately we also want to safeguard others as well. We need herd immunity and for that to happen, we need people to be vaccinated.”

At Tamboville, in Kariega, 43-year-old Sizwe Tutu admitted that he was terrified of the vaccine because of some people's negative opinions, but felt better once he had completed the process.

“You know how people talk: 'Sizwe, you are going to die if you take this vaccination.' But luckily I did not listen, and now it’s done,” he said.

“I would recommend that everyone go for the jab, but at the end of the day each person must make up their own mind.”  


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