Nurse’s vaccine plea after beating COVID-19 | Western Cape Government


Nurse’s vaccine plea after beating COVID-19

5 February 2021

The arrival of the vaccine in South Africa has brought hope to many, especially to healthcare heroes like Karl Bremer Hospital nurse Thembeka Goba, who survived having COVID-19.

It's been almost a year since the nurse tested positive for the virus and spent 25 days in hospital recovering. Today, nurse Goba is optimistic and hopes the vaccine will reduce her risk for reinfection.

“I spent 25 days in hospital after I had COVID-19 in May last year, just after 15 May 2020. I started having flu-like symptoms. I went to the pharmacy and bought medication over the counter at the time.  But then I noticed this was something different, it wasn’t like all the other times when I had flu,” the mom of three recalls.

Soon after her symptoms progressed, she visited her local doctor again and was hospitalised after she developed severe pneumonia.

“In the week that followed I was admitted to Tygerberg Hospital. I spent more than two weeks recovering in hospital. I remember waking up when I was in ICU and that’s when I started feeling so many emotions. I thought about my kids and my husband. I thought, I almost left my kids behind, what if I didn’t make it? I spent three days in ICU on high-flow oxygen and was later transferred to a ward.”

Nurse Goba recovered at Tygerberg Hospital and says she will not hesitate to take the vaccine to keep other healthcare workers, patients and her family safe.

“After what I experienced, I urge everyone to take the vaccine. I encourage my fellow health workers to prioritise their health by taking the vaccine. We don’t know what’s coming next or how the third wave will be, but we do have the vaccine which brings some hope, and it can help us build protection against the virus. There have been trials that took place to show that the vaccine is safe. It can also help us prevent further infections.”

Misinformation on the virus and vaccine continues to spread, but nurse Goba says she trust the science and only believe reliable sources. “Vaccines have been saving countless lives for years. If you have questions, I encourage you to read as much as they can from credible sources,”

Nurse Goba says she is ready for the vaccine. “For me, I hear these stories about the vaccine and why people don’t want to take it. I am doing this for my family, the patients I work with and my community. I am also putting my health first. I encourage others to have an open mind about the vaccine. We have always used vaccines before so why not take this vaccine to protect your loved ones? I am ready.”

*Learn more about the vaccine and help us end the spread of fake news by checking facts on our Western Cape Government Health Portal at
Remember to continue wearing your mask, wash your hands regularly, keep a physical distance of 1.5 m from others and stay home when you are sick.

Media Enquiries: 

Shimoney Regter
Western Cape Government Health
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