‘I don’t want others to bear a higher risk of getting Covid and of infecting others’ says Jesmane Boggenpoel, Deputy Chair of BMF Investments, Founder & Principal of AIH Capital & author of My Blood Divides and Unites on racial reconciliation.
This is why she has joined thought leaders and public figures who have come out to plead with South Africans to get vaccinated against Covid-19, amid concerns about vaccine hesitancy.
To those who are hesitant to get the jab, Boggenpoel says people should consult credible sources of information, as there is plenty of real research that has been done into the efficiency and the safety of vaccines.
Although decades ago, such research may have taken many more years to complete, in this era, scientists have access to far better technology and data analytics which allow them to conduct research more efficiently.
Boggenpoel says she was also on the search for info about one of the common vaccine debates, which involves so-called natural immunity compared to that offered by the vaccine.
“Given that I had Covid already, I did wonder if had enough antibodies and wouldn’t need a vaccination for a good few months.
“But I read research showing that a person who recovered from Covid-19 and was subsequently vaccinated has a much lower risk of reinfection. To protect each other, reduce the chance of a 4th wave, and get our economy on track, we need to get vaccinated.”
Journey to recovery
Boggenpoel was one of thousands of South Africans who caught the virus during the volatile third wave of infections this year.
“I had Covid in June and while my symptoms were mild and I recovered at home, it took a few weeks before my energy levels fully rebounded. Sadly, I also lost my cousin Karen, uncle Martin, and aunty Lynette all to Covid,” she says.
During the lockdown, she has been able to make the best of the situation by learning new skills. “Lockdown has allowed me time for new cooking skills and learning German, I do want to travel again and go out more. I also want to protect my parents when I visit them.”
She received her first Pfizer-BioNtech jab a few weeks ago and her second one is due this weekend.