Friday, 12 March 2021

First group of CPUT health workers vaccinated

GRATEFUL: Melanie Marais, Head of the HIV/Aids unit received her vaccine. GRATEFUL: Melanie Marais, Head of the HIV/Aids unit received her vaccine.

It was a big moment when a group of CPUT frontline health workers became the first from the institution to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

A total of 20 CPUT frontline health workers received their vaccinations at Groote Schuur Hospital on Thursday.

“Western Cape Government Health (WCGH) created a sequencing system for frontline health workers, [in] faculties of health sciences. This is similar to the EVDS (Electronic Vaccination Data System) used nationally for healthcare workers and indeed both systems are being used for the vaccination of healthcare workers,” said Prof Tandi Matsha, Dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences and chairperson of the CPUT vaccination rollout.

She said vaccination is based on voluntary participation and health workers had to volunteer to participate.

“From CPUT Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences (FHWS), including CPUT health clinics, over 80% of our staff and students volunteered to participate. However, due to the limited number of vaccines at the moment, only those staff members that had been trained to administer vaccines to the CPUT community have been vaccinated today (Thursday)."

Prof Karien Jooste, Head of the Department of Nursing Science added that 18 lecturers in the Department of Nursing Science and two professional nurses from the Health clinic and HIV/Aids Unit had been selected.

Matsha said participants are observed at the vaccination site for some time (15 minutes) after vaccination for adverse reaction, given information on what they may experience later in the day and a contact number should they experience adverse reactions.

“As chair of the vaccination rollout at CPUT, I am extremely happy, and would also like to take this opportunity to ensure the CPUT community that the process will be fair and prioritised, based on needs. I would like to especially thank Prof Mellet Moll, Chair of Health cluster, Prof Karien Jooste (Head of Department, Nursing), Benjamin De Waal and John Meyer (FHWS) who were of extreme help to assist us to meet the requirements of the WCGH sequencing requirements.

“This is greatly appreciated as all would know from the news, Covid-19 vaccination is a developing story with many disruptions along the way and we must, as CPUT, quickly adapt in order to ensure that we receive vaccines.”

Melanie Marais, Head of the HIV/Aids unit, who was among the first group to receive their vaccines, said her experience was very positive and that she received friendly and efficient services from the vaccination site at Groote Schuur Hospital.

“It was comforting to know that the vaccinator was vaccinated about three weeks ago and she could share her experience with me. I did not experience any discomfort so far and was advised that I might experience some side effects and can take two Panados should I have any side effects. I am thankful for all the role players who made this possible. Today made me think of the many healthcare workers and members of the public who lost their lives due to this pandemic. “

Written by Ilse Fredericks