Groote Schuur Hospital healthcare worker says vaccines have given her hope | Western Cape Government

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Groote Schuur Hospital healthcare worker says vaccines have given her hope

18 February 2021

Melody Camelo was one of 40 frontline healthcare workers at Groote Schuur Hospital to have received the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine on 17 February 2021. She is excited to be part of the herd or population immunity which will protect herself, her family, her colleagues and her community against severe disease.

Nurses like Melody are often at greater risk of COVID-19 because they have always cared for the sick, the well and the dying. Nurses, in particular, are there for the entire patient experience from birth to old age, and from wellness to illness. Protecting them and other healthcare workers is a high priority for Western Cape Government Health.

Melody counts herself fortunate for not contracting the virus yet. This despite working as the COVID-19 coordinator for all designated wards for six months last year. As the Operational Manager for Nursing at Groote Schuur Hospital, she has also sadly witnessed the effects of the virus on patients she has seen and treated – a key factor which has contributed to her decision to accept the COVID-19 vaccine. For Melody, the vaccines have given her hope as they have proven to be effective in protecting against the severe effects of the coronavirus.

‘I have witnessed patients struggling to breathe, being on oxygen and having no energy to do the simplest of tasks. My worst experience was talking to a patient one day and assisting him with a video call to contact his wife and children, only to return to the ward later and find the patient being intubated by the resus team and rushed to ICU. A staff member later approached me with tears in her eyes saying that the patient was in her care, and all I could do was to support her emotionally. This moment will remain with me forever and will remind me of how devastating this disease has been. Hence, I will be vaccinated. I want to be part of the herd immunity which will protect me, my family, my colleagues and the community from being infected or transmitting COVID-19,’ said Melody.

Public health professionals do not know whether the vaccine stops transmission yet. Therefore, it is important for everyone to stay safe and follow the good hygiene rules (wearing your mask, practising social distancing, and sanitising or washing your hands and frequently touched objects regularly) even after you are vaccinated.

Whether you are a healthcare worker like Melody or a member of the general public, it is your decision to get vaccinated or not. Your choice will be respected. But, make sure that you find out as much as you can about the vaccines from trustworthy sources before you make your final decision.

Healthcare Workers can #UniteToVaccinateWC by registering to be vaccinated on the Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS) here: https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/#/

Media Enquiries: 

Byron la Hoe
WCGH Communications
Cell: 072 368 0596