'I fell behind in school' - Covid-19 survivor, 19, gets his jab

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  • The teenage matric pupil was among scores queued at Discovery 1 Place building in Sandton on Friday.
  • He has felt the brunt of Covid-19, having missed an exam because of the virus, he says. 
  • The 19-year-old aspiring model said he was happy he'd gotten the vaccine to protect himself moving forward. 

Thorne Webster from Johannesburg was among thousands of Gauteng youngsters who heeded the call to take the Covid-19 vaccine on Friday.

The 19-year-old started his day at Discovery 1 Place in Sandton to queue up for the jab.

By 11:00 he was already inoculated with the Pfizer vaccine. 

The moment was important for the matric pupil who was not only a survivor of Covid-19, but also fell behind school last year due to the toll of the virus. 

Speaking at the observation room at the Discovery building, Webster said he contracted Covid-19 last year after he had gone out with friends. 

He described his recovery as "crazy", adding that he felt he was somewhat asymptomatic, although he did, however, lose his sense of taste.

"I wasn't too bad. I just lost my taste, and that was it. But I definitely encourage other people to get vaccinated to prevent deaths," Webster said.

Speaking again telephonically with News24 four hours after getting his jab, Webster said he felt a bit drowsy but after taking a nap, he woke up fine. His arm was also numb. 

The teenager, who is also an aspiring model, said taking the vaccine was a big moment for him because he had suffered a lot due to the virus. 

Missed exam

He missed an exam last year.

"I was put back because I missed my exam, because of Covid-19. It was horrible seeing everyone finish and I was put behind," he said.  

But the teenager said he was not demotivated because he had a strong support structure from his family and friends. 

WATCH | Gauteng youngsters come out in numbers for their Covid-19 jabs

While focusing on his studies this year, he is also keeping up with his modelling career. 

Webster said he was encouraged by people he knew to try out modelling, and to his surprise, he made it in.

But because of Covid-19, there were not enough gigs such as advertising, he said.

He added that it was, however, picking up momentum, although there was still very little happening. 


"I never thought I would be doing something like this. I never thought I would be confident in front of the camera and it was crazy," he said.

Advising his peers to vaccinate, Webster, said: 

I got demotivated with Covid-19. Lot's of things happened, a lot of people passed away. And it is scary what Covid-19 can do. People rub it off as just a flu but it is more than that. A lot of people lost their jobs. My advice is, just get vaccinated. It is so quick and not sore. You can save someone's life by getting vaccinated.

December 2020 was different for many South Africans who had to remain indoors due to the surge of infections.

There was no jubilation on new year's eve as the country went on stricter lockdown levels due to the surge.

But the youth have expressed that they were hopeful for a joyous festive season this time around, albeit with precaution and adhering to pharmaceutical protocols.

"I just would like to go out with my friends and chill again. It's horrible sitting at home and doing nothing. I feel like we just have to get vaccinated in order for things to go back to normal."

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