Getting ready for mass-vaccinations on 17 May: 'We’re in a race against time'
Just over 325 000 Pfizer vaccines landed safely in the country late Sunday, renewing hopes for a swifter vaccine rollout following a few false starts.
South Africa’s mass-vaccination campaign is scheduled to start on 17 May; there is much still left to do.
DA MP Siviwe Gwarube (she is their shadow minister of health) visited earmarked vaccination sites in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and Gauteng and left with concerns.
Gwarube is worried about the lack of vaccination sites directly linked to larger hospitals.
Other concerns include inadequate cold storage capacity, little to no communication on vaccine registration, lack of security for vaccine storage, inadequate infrastructure, and human resources for the vaccination programme.
“These inadequacies expose the very real possibility that facilities could be overwhelmed once the second phase of the vaccine rollout commences, especially if the country inches closer to a third wave of infections,” said Gwarube.
“The other possibility is that we could have an incredibly poor uptake of the vaccine due to a lack of awareness among many communities.
“This is why a comprehensive public awareness campaign is absolutely critical while we are two weeks away from the rollout."
Gwarube spoke to Refilwe Moloto about her concerns, following visits to various vaccination rollout sites across the country.
There’s a very big difference between the big hospitals… versus the primary healthcare facilities… You need vaccination closer to the people…Siviwe Gwarube, Member of Parliament - Democratic Alliance
The overriding issue is the lack of awareness… A lot of people don’t know how to register…Siviwe Gwarube, Member of Parliament - Democratic Alliance
A lot of clinics don’t have space for additional operations… It gives me anxiety…Siviwe Gwarube, Member of Parliament - Democratic Alliance
I was disappointed with how KZN looked… Problems that can easily be resolved… extra security… extra fridges…Siviwe Gwarube, Member of Parliament - Democratic Alliance
We’re in a race against time – two weeks away from vaccinations…Siviwe Gwarube, Member of Parliament - Democratic Alliance
Listen to the interview in the audio below.
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