Shortly after becoming the first South African to receive the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, nurse Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi delivered a healthy baby boy, weighing 5 kgs, at Khayelitsha District Hospital on Wednesday, February 17.

Gidi-Dyosi, who is a midwife says she experienced no side effects after the vaccination and returned to her workstation shortly after getting her jab. Part of the vaccination process is to be monitored for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine.

“When I returned to my working station after getting my shot, there was a patient who needed to deliver her baby. I delivered the baby boy. This shows that after receiving the vaccine, you can return to your normal life. I feel fine and I am still able to work,” she said.

The mom of the baby boy, who chose not to be identified, has thanked Sister Gidi-Dyosi for safely delivering her baby. “I was very happy after staff told me that the sister was vaccinated and delivered my baby. I was in labour and when sister arrived it went quickly. I am grateful.”

Sister Gidi-Dyosi didn’t realise that she would be the first person to receive the vaccine in the country but says she feels honoured.

“At first, I didn’t know that I would make history by being the first person to get the vaccine in the country. I thought I would just work, get the vaccine, and then go back to work. Then I realised later that this was a big deal, and I was going to be first. I am honoured and happy. My friends and husband messaged me to say, ‘You’re trending and you’re on TV’.”

The nurse hopes to inspire others to take the vaccine and wants to lead by example. “I decided to take the vaccine to break the ice. I wanted to show people that this vaccine is not here to kill us. It is here to help us and to protect us. I want to motivate others.”

She has a special message for all South Africans: “The vaccine has given us hope. Working during COVID-19 has been hectic, but I have hope now. I encourage all South Africans to take the vaccine. Let’s consent to it, as we know nobody can force you to take it, but you can take it for your own health and your loved ones.”

Western Cape Government Health would like to convey gratitude to Sister Gidi-Dyosi and all healthcare workers for their hard work and commitment in the fight against COVID-19.

Picture: Supplied

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.