By Own Correspondent
THE National university of Science and Technology launched its Covid-19 vaccination program for staff members and students today with the University`s vice Chancellor Professor Mqhele Dlodlo being the first to get the jab.
The university says it is targeting over 1 000 staff members and students who will be coming at the campus in phases for the program.
Before the exercise started, staff members mostly lecturers and senior officers took time to ask the university`s chief nursing officer, Sister Edith Ngwenya questions about the vaccine and its effect.
There has been a lot of myths and misconceptions about the vaccine mostly driven by social media which has affected the uptake of the vaccines even among frontline workers.
NUST vice chancellor professor Dlodlo urged said taking the vaccines will help the institution carry out its mandate without much challenges.
He said the vaccination program for universities will greatly help the institutions of higher learning following learning disruptions experienced since the outbreak of Covid-19.
“It really was not anything different from all jabs I am used to. It is a very tiny needle and there are some jabs that require a thicker needle. When it gets in it’s like a mosquito bite. It is important for our staff to get the jab because of the mandate of educating the nation that we have,” said Prof Dlodlo.
The VC said while it is normal for some people to be afraid to be vaccinated, the virus is airborne which means anyone can catch it, hence the need to be vaccinated.
“People need to read the contests of the bottle if they are skeptical and find out what is inside. What is inside are your usual body fluids, the different minerals that are in your food. The food you eat already has those things. The only difference is the little bit of the dead virus that has been put there so that your anti-bodies can identify it as a dangerous thing and start building up your immunity against it so that when it comes the body will be able fight it,” he said.
NUST Acting pro vice chancellor innovation and business development, Dr Peter Nkala said it is important for all university employees to go through the process.
“This process is critical so that we protect each other. I hope those who have fears will find courage when they see those who have been vaccinated that there is nothing happening. You can see that even on social media those fake stories of adverse effects are disappearing and this will result in more people taking the jabs,” he said.
NUST librarian Ms Kathy Matsika welcomed the vaccination of university staff.
“I have been anxiously waiting and this is a welcome development as we deal with a lot of students and people in the library. It is good to be prepared to assist but when you are not vaccinated you are not sure when dealing with them. With the vaccine you have confidence to help,” she said
NUST director of information and marketing, Mr Thabani Mpofu said the program will happen between Monday and Friday from 8 to 4:30pm until all the members are vaccinated.
“We are encouraging all our employees to be vaccinated. We are also working on a program to vaccinate our students who come on campus on phases. They are free to come to the clinic to get the jab. We have about one thousand staff members on compass but others are at home and we are calling on them to come to the university to get the vaccine,” he said.