The team becomes the first group in the country to receive the Pfizer vaccine before it was rolled out to the rest of the population.
The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYSC), Tumiso Rakgare also received the shot. Speaking to Mmegi Sport after receiving her vaccine, 400m runner, Christine Botlogetswe said the move brings hope that they will be safe in Tokyo.
“The escalation of COVID-19 infection is scary not just here at home but worldwide. So competing at the Olympics means the risk will be higher. Receiving this jab brings hope that we will be protected,” she said.
Botlogetswe said she was in good health and hopes the side effects will not be severe. Edwin Masuge, who will be competing in the 400m Paralympics, said the vaccine will make it easy for him to travel to Japan.
He said at first he was worried that they might not receive the jab. Two doses are needed, at least three weeks apart with the team expected to receive the second dose on June 30. District Health Management Team (DHMT) coordinator for Greater Gaborone, Kgomotso Moruisi told Mmegi Sport that the Pfizer vaccine will be rolled out in Greater Gaborone, Greater Francistown, Kgatleng and Selebi-Phikwe.
“The 41 members of the Olympics team will receive the jab. They are the first people to receive this vaccine in the country. We have not had anybody opting out of receiving the jab,” Moruisi said. For her part, Greater Gaborone public health specialist, Dr Pamela Smith-Lawrence said side effects are common in any medication. “Some side effects could happen immediately after vaccination whereby there is swelling on the injection site.
Others could be experienced after seven days such as headache and joint pains. However, we cannot rule out severe side effects in some of them. Those are in rare occasions,” she said.