“I had the vaccine because I want to be there for my sons”
Moses Zikusoka is a single father to James and Christian. Following the death of his sister to Covid-19 at the start of the pandemic he is now volunteering in Greenwich as a Community Champion.
My vaccine story
I’ve tried to protect myself and my children all the way through the pandemic, so I was never going to miss out on an opportunity to have the vaccine. I took my first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and I took it because, at end of January, my boys and I fell ill, we had positive Covid-19 symptoms, and we went into self-isolation. I said to myself, if I had the chance of getting the vaccine I would not miss out on that opportunity because I want to protect my life, I want to protect my children and my community.
“My sister Erina dying was a complete shock”
We’ve had a lot of people from my Black African community who’ve passed on of Covid-19. My sister, Erina Zikusoka passed away on the 30th of March 2020, and she passed on tragically in the same house that I shared and lived with her with my two young boys. We had the shock of our life at waking up at 05:30 in the morning, on the Monday, 30th of March, finding her dead in bed. So she was one of the first victims of Covid-19, quite early on in the pandemic. Erina dying was a complete shock. We didn’t expect her to die, we didn’t know how serious the Covid-19 disease was. I found myself on my own, grieving on my own, we had to organise my sister’s funeral, and worse still we had to bury her – only 10 people were able to attend her funeral in the middle of May during the pandemic.
We are still living in the same house where my sister passed on, and so every single day we’re reminded of my sister, and it’s been difficult. I’ve been quite vocal about trying to get my African and Caribbean community sensitised around Covid-19. I created a charity of my own to increase awareness and also to share with people information about the dangers of Covid-19 and how to prevent it. I’ve also been working on informing people about the Covid vaccine and getting people to understand that the vaccine is really the only way out. It’s the best way of protecting their own lives, protecting their family, and their communities, and it’s also ultimately the best way of preventing death. As a single father, I feel very strongly that everyone should go out and get vaccinated.