Health Dept criticised for poor communication over looming 5 million vax target
- South Africa's health ministry has been urged to update the public about its ambitious plans to vaccinate 5 million people over the age of 60 by the end of June
- So far, around 1.5 million people over 60 have received their first Pfizer dose - with less than two weeks to go before the deadline
- The chairperson of the South African Medical Association (Sama), Dr Angelique Coetzee, says vaccinators need to start working with local GPs and pharmacists
The national Department of Health (DoH) has come under renewed criticism for its lack of communication about its vaccine targets.
South Africa's slow vaccine rollout has raised doubts about the department's target of vaccinating 5 million people over the age of 60 by the end of June.
Vaccine supply hurdles and issues with the national EVDS system have resulted in a slow Phase 2 vaccine rollout.
Around 1.5 million people over 60 have received at least one dose of the Pfizer shot so far and there are only two weeks left to reach the 5 million target.
South African Medical Association (Sama) chairperson Dr. Angelique Coetzee says the DoH has not kept the public up to date about its vaccination targets and plans for scheduling the second jabs of the Pfizer vaccine.
She says the Phase 2 vaccine rollout has been slow, despite having over 5,000 vaccine sites across the country.
Dr. Coetzee has advised that vaccine sites need to collaborate with local general practitioners (GPs) and pharmacists to help get more jabs in arms.
"If they can deliver the vaccine to old age homes, why can't it be delivered to the local pharmacists or the local GP in a set area? It's very easy. If you're not going to network, you're going to lose the plot", she tells CapeTalk.
It becomes very problematic if the National Department of Health makes a statement and say that before the end of June they want 5 million people to be vaccinated and then move onto the next level.Dr Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson - South African Medical Association
If you notice that you can't get to those numbers due to what we have experienced with the vaccine, then you have to come out to the public and say listen we're not going to be able to get to the numbers that we have promised or set.Dr Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson - South African Medical Association
There's poor communication... Only about 1.5 million have been vaccinated... and they need to get their second vaccine.Dr Angelique Coetzee, Chairperson - South African Medical Association
Source : @GautengHealth/Twitter