‘We feel like there’s hope now:’ KZN healthcare workers get COVID-19 vaccine

KZN has received 10,800 of the 80,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses that have touched down in the country so far.

Dr Nerika Maharaj, the first health-care worker to be vaccinated in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Nkosikhona Duma/EWN

DURBAN – There was general excitement at Durban's Prince Mshiyeni Hospital where the official COVID-19 vaccination programme for KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) has been launched on Thursday.

The province has received 10,800 of the 80,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses that have touched down in the country so far.

Healthcare workers at the KZN facility told Eyewitness News that the vaccine was their hope for a safer environment after working throughout the traumatic first and second waves of the virus.

Doctor Nerika Maharaj, a specialist physician at the Prince Mshiyeni Hospital said: “I was extremely ecstatic to find that Prince Mshiyeni would be one of the first hospitals in KZN to get the vaccine. We feel like there is hope now.”

She was the first healthcare worker to be inoculated against COVID-19 in KZN.

Her colleague Lungile Sithole, who is nurse, said that she felt less anxious about coming to work now that she had got the jab.

“We are happy that the vaccine is here now. We are going to be safe in this environment that we are working in.”

Prince Mshiyeni Hospital which is located in Umlazi, the largest township in KZN, has received 5,760 vaccine doses.
The remaining 5,040 have been allocated to the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Academic Hospital.

Provincial authorities said that these facilities had been prioritised given the high number of regional infections.

Other facilities would receive their share when the next batches arrive.

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