On Monday I got my first Covid vaccination done and dusted and I am so grateful and relieved. If you are unsure about getting the vaccinations or you want to get your vaccination and want to know how and where to get it done my hopes are that you will find this post helpful.
I was so excited to hear that from 15 July 2021 everyone from age 35 to 49 was eligible to register to get the vaccine. As soon as I was able to register I did and the entire experience from start to finish was outstanding.
If you want to get vaccinated here’s what you need to do:
Register With The Department Of Health
This is the very first step and no matter where you want to get your vaccination done or whether you have medical aid or not, you have to register with the Department Of Health first.
If you are not able to register online above then there are other options available for you such as:
- Register via the COVID Whatsapp system by sending “REGISTER” to 0600 123 456
- Register via SMS by dialing *134*382*YOUR ID NUMBER# – if you don’t have an ID number you can dial *134*382#
Once you have registered you will receive an SMS to confirm your registration and later you will receive an SMS with your booking information.
I’ve heard that some libraries and other facilities are assisting people with registering for the vaccine, but ask your local municipality to get the correct information.
So how did I get my booking confirmed immediately? I booked on the Discovery website to go to their mass vaccination site at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
Discovery Mass Vaccination Sites
There are a number of Discovery Mass Vaccination Sites in South Africa, with many more that are in the process of opening up. You do not need to be a member of Discovery or have any medical aid to get your vaccination at a Discovery Mass Vaccination site.
You have to first ensure you are registered through the department of health using one of the methods given above and then you can register on the Discovery website here.
My Experience – Covid Vaccination Discovery Mass Vaccination Site CTICC
I was expecting to register with the Department Of Health and having to wait patiently for an SMS to get vaccinated in my area but because I am with Discovery medical aid I decided to check their website after I registered to see if there was anything new on their website. When I logged in I saw a new section to book for your vaccination so I clicked on it and saw a list of Mass Vaccination sites. I clicked on the one at the Cape Town Convention Centre and saw times I could book for. It was Thursday 15 July 2021 and I saw a time slot for Monday 19 July 2021 at 11am and booked that slot. I got an email and SMS confirmation of my booking from Discovery immediately.
I could not believe how fast and user-friendly the system was. Yes it would mean taking a drive from Saldanha Bay to Cape Town but really I’ve been stuck at home for weeks on end alone with my kids. Taking a drive alone into Cape Town sounded like a treat.
I arrived at the CTICC an hour early just in case and when I drove up I saw an amazing turn out of people standing in line. Upon arriving at the parking area there was someone standing there directing people where to park and where to go. Outside the door of the parking area was another attendant sending everyone the right way.
When I got to the zebra crossing there was another attendant directing people. Then just before the line was yet another attendant and I asked where I must go and he asked me if I had a booking or not. When I confirmed that I had a booking he put a green sticker on my top and told me to the short line – there were only three other people standing in that line. It turned out that the long line that snaked all the way around the building was for people that had not made a booking.
While standing in the line another five people joined the line behind me. I waited for less than five minutes in line before we were told to go in and after our line of bookings went in he told a section of the people without bookings to follow us in too.
Again attendants were standing by to ensure everyone knew where to go.
I waited in another line for another five minutes until I got to someone that took down my information, checked my ID number and booking. He also asked me some questions about my health and I was directed to another area where I stood in line again for only a few minutes before being directed to another desk where my details were double checked before being directed to where I got my vaccination.
The nurse on duty asked me more questions and explained that he needed to tell me some information before going ahead. Then I got my vaccination which was really fast and quite painless. I was given the Pfizer vaccine, so I will need to go for a second one. I heard that they were giving out the Johnsons & Johnsons vaccine too but I suspect that they are prioritizing that vaccine for people that need it more such as teachers, police and healthcare workers.
I was given my vaccination card and told to head on over to a waiting area where I would be monitored for fifteen minutes before I could leave.
The entire process from walking up to the building to walking out the building took about forty minutes and that included the fifteen minute wait time after the vaccine was administered.
I was blown away by how well run everything was, and also by the amazing vibe. I know that many people believe that Covid-19 is a hoax and that they believe all sorts of things about the vaccine.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. My opinion is that we need to trust the science and that we need as many people vaccinated as possible to beat this virus. Seeing such a good turn out of people in my age group and older lifted my spirits in such a big way and I could see that everyone there from staff members to the people getting vaccinated were so positive and happy.
My Side Effects After Being Vaccinated
It’s been more than 36 hours since I got my vaccination done and from what I understand all side effects should be done and dusted by now. I have hardly had any side effects though, the worst has been a sore arm. It was not painful when I received the vaccination but the area on my arm where I got the injection got very tender and stayed quite sore for the first two days but it is easing up now.
On Tuesday I was quite tired but whether that was due to being cooped up at home with two busy kids for a number of weeks or due to side effects I honestly cannot say. Other than those two things I have felt no side effects.
A number of people I know personally have had one or both of their Pfizer vaccinations and they have all had either no side effects or very mild side effects. Nobody that I personally know has had any severe side effects.
On the other hand I know a lot of people who have had Covid-19 (with varying levels of severity), including people who have died.
I will update this post with more information after I have had my second dose.