She hasn’t been able to hug her children for more than a year – but that’s all about to change for Ethelwyn van Eck.
The 84-year-old recently became the first person at Elphin Lodge Retirement Village in Johannesburg to receive her Covid-19 vaccination as part of the government’s roll-out plan.
“It’s so exciting. Getting the vaccine has made me feel I’ve been afforded extra time,” she says.
The first week of the government’s nationwide phase 2 vaccination campaign has seen more than 100 000 people receive their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine at 177 vaccination sites. Ethelwyn hopes receiving the jab is the first step to being able to safely visit her family and friends.
“We’ve been restricted in our movements because of Covid-19, so I’m glad we finally got it,” she tells YOU.
The pensioner, who loves to paint, moved to the retirement village in 2016 after a stroke left her right hand paralysed. When she was unable to see her family during lockdown, she learnt to paint with her left hand to keep busy.
“My granddaughter bought me new brushes and paint. It’s a lovely way to stay creative.”
She was over the moon when she heard she was first in line to receive the Covid-19 jab at the retirement home.
For Ethelwyn, it’s one step closer to being able to hug her children. “After getting the Covid-19 vaccine I feel well,” she says.
“I didn’t for a moment doubt it. I’ve got four children and I don’t want to leave them yet. Plus, I love reading and painting – there’s still so much I want to do.”
Government officials hope to vaccinate 5 million senior citizens by the end of next month. Ethelwyn encourages everyone to register. “If we all get the vaccine it’ll help control the pandemic.”
There are a few ways you can register:
- Go to vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za and follow the prompts. You need your ID, passport or refugee number to complete the online form.
- Text the word REGISTER to 0600-123-456 on WhatsApp and you’ll receive further instructions.
- Call 0800-029-999 between 8am to 6pm from Monday to Sunday.
WHEN AND WHERE WILL I GO TO GET MY JAB?
Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive an SMS confirming your registration has been successful. Then within the next three weeks you should receive another SMS confirming the date and place to receive your vaccination.
WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
You’ll need to present your ID or passport.
WHAT VACCINE WILL I BE GETTING?
The Pfizer/BioNTech double-dose vaccine as well as the Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine are available in South Africa.
HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO GET VACCINATED?
You won’t have to pay. “The vaccination will be free at the point of service,” according to health department technical adviser Dr Aquina Thulare. Private health-care suppliers will pay between R280 and R308 per dose of the vaccine and medical aids will foot the bill for their client. The cost for taking the vaccine won’t be applied to the public.
For more information, go to www.gov.za
SOURCES: gov.za, businesslive.co.za, news24.com