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    Brand with a purpose
    13 August 2021

    Vodacom

    Vodacom's vaccine experiences

    We spoke to a few Vodacom employees about their experience receiving the vaccination, and why they think it's important for all South Africans to get vaccinated.  

    The COVID-19 vaccination programme is rolling out across the whole of South Africa and many Vodacom staff members have already had theirs. So what does the vaccine do? When you get vaccinated, it activates the “memory” of your body’s immune system, and a weakened microbe (a fragment, or something that resembles the disease), is added to the body. Your immune system is then activated without you becoming sick. Some dangerous infectious diseases can also be prevented in this simple and effective way. Vaccination provides lifelong protection for some diseases, while for others the effect is diminished after a few years and you need booster doses.

    We spoke to a few Vodacom employees about their experience of being vaccinated, and why they think it's important for all South Africans to do the same.

    Lana Strydom

    Executive Head of Digital; Content and Social Marketing at Vodacom

     

    Can you please tell us how your vaccination went? Where did you have it done? How long did you wait? 

    I did mine at the Discovery head office in Sandton. The entire process took around 3.5 hours. This was longer than a few other people who used the service had waited – it seems Friday mornings are a busy time! Quieter times seem to be weekdays after 15:00, where some people were in and out in about 45 minutes. I actually felt a bit of excitement beforehand (I thought that it would take many more months to get here) and a huge sense of relief afterwards.

    The whole process was extremely well organised and managed. All areas are sanitised as soon as you move on to the next phase, social distancing is adhered to, and all staff are friendly and competent.

    Can you tell us about any side effects you may have experienced?

    A sensitive arm for a couple of hours where they jabbed me. No other side effects.

    Why do you think it is important for people to get vaccinated?

    I felt personal relief at the possibility of getting back to a relatively normal life, including seeing friends and family with reduced risk – and hopefully travelling in the near future.

    The only way we’re going to get the virus under control is if fewer people get infected and fewer people land in critical condition in the hospital. Vaccination is the only alternative we have at this point. The medium-term result will be a knock-on effect on the economy and a positive outlook for our country, in fact for the whole world.

    Hein Laubscher

    Executive Head of Department; HR Services

     

    Can you please tell us how your vaccination went? Where did you have it done? How long did you wait?

    I immediately registered when people over 50 years were allowed to do so. Once I did that I phoned around to find a walk-in vaccination site close to where we are. The best option was in Velddrif, which is a coastal fishing town in the Berg River Local Municipality, Western Cape.  The vaccinations took place in the local community hall.  My wife and I arrived at about 10 am and there were about 120 people there. We were the last ones they accepted for the day, as they only do about 125 daily.  The process was well organised, but unfortunately, there was only one nurse administering the vaccinations.  It took us seven hours of patiently waiting in the queue, although thankfully there were chairs to sit on!  At the end of the day, we both got our vaccination, and we felt good about deciding to go for it.

     Can you tell us about any side effects you may have experienced?

    The only symptom I had in the next 24 hours, was a headache, but that could have been for many other reasons, so overall it went well.

    Why do you think it is important for people to get vaccinated?

    We have a responsibility to ourselves, our family, friends, colleagues and others around us to do everything in our power to fight against the COVID-19 situation. Having the vaccination is our contribution towards making a difference.

    Mariette Nebuloni

    Executive Head; Retail Marketing

    mariette nebuloni

    Can you please tell us how your vaccination went? Where did you have it done? How long did you wait?

    I had mine at 1 Discovery Place, Sandton. I was fortunate as the queues weren’t that long and I was blown away by how organised and professional the staff were. At the first check-in station, I was given a mask and asked to double-mask. I then waited to get into a lift, with only four people at a time allowed in the lift, each standing on a decal in a corner. Staff told us they disinfect the lift every time four new people enter. Arriving on the ground floor, directional and social-distancing floor decals showed you exactly where to go and where to stand. It was a short queue of about 10 people before I reached the next check-in point where they captured my details on a tablet most of which they’d picked up already when punching in my ID number – so quick and seamless.

    I was then directed to a row of chairs where I waited my turn before being ushered into a private cubicle where I was asked further questions before I received my vaccination. Afterwards, I followed colour-coded floor decals to an area where I had to remain for 15 minutes before I could leave. This is to ensure people have no immediate reaction to the vaccine. At all steps of this journey, social distancing applied and there were lots of staff helping and ensuring everyone went where they were supposed to be. I was out of there by 5pm. So my entire journey from arrival to departure took about an hour, including the 15-minute waiting period after receiving my vaccine. Again, I have to commend the staff and Discovery on how well they were organised and how courteous everyone was. I felt as safe as one can in the circumstances – every step of the way.

     Can you tell us about any side effects you may have experienced?

    The only side-effect was a sore arm where they injected the vaccine. The soreness appeared the next morning and was almost completely gone by the following morning.

     Why do you think it is important for people to get vaccinated?

    When you get vaccinated, you’re not only protecting yourself, but also those around you. I believe the vaccine reduces the risk of infection. Yes, I know I can still get infected after being vaccinated, but once more of the population is vaccinated, those chances are slimmer. My main motivations were to do my bit in taking pressure off our healthcare system and the overworked, emotionally traumatised health workers by reducing my chances of getting very ill and needing hospitalisation. I also wanted to create a future of being able to safely reconnect with friends and family without putting them at risk. In a nutshell, I got vaccinated out of respect for my own survival and health, and that of those around me.

    Lori Kasselman

    Executive Head: Learning and Development at Vodacom

    lori kasselman

    Can you please tell us how your vaccination went? Where did you have it done? How long did you wait? 

    Although I asked to be allocated a centre in my neighbourhood, I was assigned to a Dis-Chem centre a distance away, and in the middle of a busy shopping centre. The wait was about 45 minutes. I found it stressful, as the centre was busy and the long row of chairs wasn’t sanitised between each person shifting forward in the queue. I chose to stand and wait for my number to be called.

    The actual process was fine as each vaccine was administered in a separate room. I felt fine afterwards, apart from a large bruise on my arm, which lasted for a few weeks.

    I received the second vaccination at Virgin Active. Although it was quite far from where I live, I found it to be much more organised than the first round. The queue was outside but moved very quickly, and there were more than 20 stations inside to administer the vaccine.

    Can you tell us about any side effects you may have experienced?

    None really apart from feeling a little tired

    Why do you think it is important for people to get vaccinated?

    To provide protection for ourselves and others from COVID-19 infection.

    Register online 

    To register for the vaccine, simply visit the official COVID-19 South African Vaccination Portal.

     

    Vodacom