Be safe: First SA health worker to receive COVID jab gets her booster shot

Sister Zoliwa Gidi-Dyosi rolled up her sleeve at Khayelitsha District Hospital in February, as part of the Sisonke Vaccination Programme, to get her shot.

Nurse Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi was the first South African and health care worker to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on 17 February 2021 at Khayelitsha Hospital. Picture: Twitter/@DrZweliMkhize

CAPE TOWN - The first healthcare worker to receive a COVID-19 vaccination in South Africa has urged other employees in the sector to get their booster shots.

Sister Zoliwa Gidi-Dyosi rolled up her sleeve at Khayelitsha District Hospital in February, as part of the Sisonke Vaccination Programme, to get her shot.

Sisonke study researchers are concerned over the slow pace at which health workers are coming forward for their J&J booster shots.

Gidi-Dyosi has been a nurse for 13 years.

She said having taken the first vaccine dose and recently receiving her booster shot made her feel safer, especially in light of the emergence of the Omicron variant.

“I’m taking it because I want to feel safe.”

Gidi-dyosi, who has not contracted COVID-19, said last week she had a scare when she started experienced mild flu-like symptoms.

But her test results came back negative.

“I wish I could stand on top of the mountain and tell everyone in South Africa that we need to take this vaccine because we don’t know when this virus is going to go away.”

Just over 202,720 healthcare workers and counting have received a J&J booster.

The country's health products regulator has given the go ahead for people 18 and older and children 12 years and older with severely compromised immune systems to get a Pfizer vaccine booster.