First Thing, Daily Maverick's flagship newsletter

Join the 230 000 South Africans who read First Thing newsletter.

Relief for care home residents after being vaccinated i...

Covid-19

GROUNDUP

Relief for care home residents after being vaccinated in Cape Town (Video)

Joan de Villiers administers the first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine to Mavis Lee. (Photo: Ashraf Hendricks)

Care home residents delighted to receive Covid vaccinations hope to be able to see friends and family again in the near future.

First published by GroundUp.

On Thursday, over 150 residents of Highlands House, a care home for elderly people in Cape Town, received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine against Covid-19.

As with care homes across the country, Highlands House has had to implement a tough lockdown because their residents are most at risk of dying from Covid-19. But the end of the strict lockdown is in sight. In several weeks the residents will receive their second dose and 14 days after that life can begin to return to normal.

Mavis Lee was one of the first residents to get vaccinated. As she sits, waiting for 15 minutes to see that she does not have a rare side effect from the vaccine, she says, “So far so good”.

“This is a wonderful day … We were waiting for this,” says Lee. And even though a surgical mask covers her mouth, you can tell by her eyes that she is smiling.

“We didn’t think it would last so long,” Lee said about the pandemic and the strict lockdown rules that Highlands House and all care homes for elderly people have had to implement to protect their residents. But “it went on and on … eventually we all just accepted it.”

Lee said that she’s looking forward to going out again and spending time with her son. “I want to go to my favourite spot, Bloubergstrand, and just sit and look at the ocean, and look at Table Mountain from there. It’s the most wonderful site in the world.”

Resident Jenniffer Miller, who prefers going by the name of Jen, said, “I’m so happy”, after being vaccinated. Miller has children in Australia and America, and says she can’t wait to see them. She also said, “I want to go and see my family in Johannesburg. And I just want to get out and see friends”.

Miller has been at Highlands House for three years. She said that when the pandemic started, it didn’t affect her much; she was quite happy keeping herself occupied with reading and music. “I didn’t make a big deal of it.” DM

Gallery

"Information pertaining to Covid-19, vaccines, how to control the spread of the virus and potential treatments is ever-changing. Under the South African Disaster Management Act Regulation 11(5)(c) it is prohibited to publish information through any medium with the intention to deceive people on government measures to address COVID-19. We are therefore disabling the comment section on this article in order to protect both the commenting member and ourselves from potential liability. Should you have additional information that you think we should know, please email [email protected]"

Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted