'I could run a race right now': Tembisa gran after getting Covid-19 vaccine

17 May 2021 - 13:14 By naledi shange
Esther Mpande leaving the Esangweni Clinic in Tembisa after getting her vaccination.
Esther Mpande leaving the Esangweni Clinic in Tembisa after getting her vaccination.
Image: Naledi Shange/TimesLIVE

“I was discouraged by others from getting the jab, but I am happy I got it.”

These were the worlds of elderly Tembisa citizen, Esther Mpande, shortly after she was vaccinated at the Esangweni Clinic in Tembisa, Ekurhuleni, on Monday morning.

“I am not sure how old I am, but I am in my 70s,” she said with a chuckle when asked about her age.

“I am so thankful to President Cyril Ramaphosa and the doctors. May God bless all of them. We have lost so many family members, so for us, this is a privilege and God’s grace.

“I couldn’t sleep last night, waiting for this moment when I finally have my injection [vaccination],” she added.

Mpande was despondent that some elderly people had said they would not get the vaccination. She said some community members, including those in her circle, had tried to discourage her from getting vaccinated but she would not be deterred.

“They have this misconception that this is all a man-made virus but I ask, how?” she said.

Mpande said the process to get vaccinated was relatively painless, as the clinic was almost empty shortly before midday.

There had been a small hustle and bustle earlier when government officials, including transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo, arrived at the centre. Bishop of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church, Malusi Mpumlwana, had also been vaccinated at the site.

SA’s second phase rollout of Covid-19 vaccines began on May 17 2021. Minister of health Zweli Mkhize joined other members of local and provincial government in overseeing the administration of vaccines to elderly people at Munsieville Centre for the Aged, near Krugersdorp.

Asked whether she was feeling any side effects, Mpande said there were none.

“I could even run a race right now,” she chuckled as she put away her vaccination card, which instructed her to come back for a second jab next month.

“I hope other elderly people will also come forward.”

Behind Mpande was another resident, Betty Pholoba.

“I am so happy because until today I was anxious. I was hearing on the news about other nations being vaccinated and I kept asking myself, when would it be our turn?” she said.

“I heard the vaccinations would be happening in Joburg and all over the show, so I was ecstatic when they said also at Esangweni, which is on my doorstep.”

Pholoba said the process was smooth, from registration to getting the vaccine. “Others must also come forward and get this vaccine,” she said, making her way out of the clinic.