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Many developing countries have their vaccines already – health workers union

5 January 2021 9:17 AM
Tags:
Nehawu
Healthcare
Healthcare workers
Khaya Xaba
Refilwe Moloto
National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
COVID-19
covid-19 in south africa
COVID-19 vaccine
Covax
Covid-19 vaccine rollout

The government is letting healthcare workers and society down, says the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union.

The race is on to obtain safe and effective vaccines for South Africa – but the government has waited too long to get out of the starting blocks, says the National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu).

Healthcare workers at Groote Schuur, trying to stay positive, do the "Jerusalema" dance challenge. Picture: Kevin Brandt/EWN

The union says the government’s plan is unclear with little details on timelines, training or where immunisations might happen.

In the meantime, our healthcare workers are hanging on, literally, for dear life.

The vaccination of healthcare workers, especially, is an urgent priority, said Dr Linda-Gail Bekker (Deputy Director at Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation) on Monday.


RELATED: Government has known for months there was going to be a bunfight for vaccines - Dr Linda-Gail Bekker


“We should’ve tried everything at our disposal to get early access to vaccines,” said Bekker.

“We’ve known for months that there was going to be a bunfight for vaccines across the world."

Refilwe Moloto interviewed Khaya Xaba, national spokesperson for Nehawu.

The Minister didn’t say anything tangible… created more confusion… The government needs to work extra hard to… give confidence, especially to frontline workers dealing with the second wave of Covid-19.

Khaya Xaba, national spokesperson - National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union

We thought we could get definite dates when the vaccine would be delivered… and a logistical plan… the focus on essential people… training…

Khaya Xaba, national spokesperson - National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union

The government is not ready. They’re not on top of the situation. They’ve been sleeping on the job. If they were awake, they would’ve started negotiations with vaccine manufacturers as early as mid-2020. Then we would’ve been among the countries who have received the vaccines.

Khaya Xaba, national spokesperson - National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union

There are countries with the same socio-economics – many countries in South America – have already received their first allocation of vaccines. The government is, once again, letting us down. It’s not doing enough to ensure we decisively defeat the coronavirus.

Khaya Xaba, national spokesperson - National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union

We have to hold the government accountable… to ensure we save as many lives as possible… We need a plan in place to show that we care about our people…

Khaya Xaba, national spokesperson - National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




5 January 2021 9:17 AM
Tags:
Nehawu
Healthcare
Healthcare workers
Khaya Xaba
Refilwe Moloto
National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union
Breakfast with Refilwe Moloto
COVID-19
covid-19 in south africa
COVID-19 vaccine
Covax
Covid-19 vaccine rollout

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