Jan 2022 edition

Taking vaccines to South Africans

Written by Allison Cooper

Hazel Meissenheimer (60) is one of the healthcare workers from the National Department of Health working tirelessly to curb the spread of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic by vaccinating as many people as possible.Hazel Meissenheimer (standing) conducting community awareness about the COVID-19 vaccine amongst Expanded Public Works Programme employees during a campaign in Port Nolloth.

Thanks to Meissenheimer and her colleagues across the country, millions of South Africans have been vaccinated.

Meissenheimer is the Namakwa District Quality Assurance and Infection Prevention Control Programme Coordinator in the Northern Cape.

She has worked for the department, as a professional nurse, for 37 years.

Meissenheimer, who was vaccinated on 27 March 2021 at Dr van Niekerk Hospital in Springbok, encourages everyone to do the same.

“I encourage all South Africans to get vaccinated so that we can reach herd immunity as soon as possible.

We have lost too many loved ones, friends and colleagues to this virus. Our only way to stop this is to vaccinate, not just for ourselves, but for those near and dear to us.”

It has been difficult for

Meissenheimer and her colleagues since the COVID-19 pandemic hit South Africa in 2020. 

“I am the district coordinator of our Rapid Response Team for contact tracing and testing where there are outbreaks. It is tough.We work long hours, often getting up early and coming home late,” says Meissenheimer.

While some people, health professionals included, either refuse to get vaccinated or are hesitant to do so, Meissenheimer stresses that they should not believe rumours and fake news about the virus and vaccines.

“The virus is real. We have seen it and experienced it.  Play your part and take charge of your own health.

“We cannot promise that you won’t get COVID-19, but the vaccine can lessen the effect of the virus. It is very sad to see people dying unnecessarily from this disease,” she says.

To find a vaccination site near you, visit https://sacoronavirus.co.za/active-vaccination-sites/

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