KwaZulu-Natal Health Department head Dr Sandile Tshabalala. I Facebook
KwaZulu-Natal Health Department head Dr Sandile Tshabalala. I Facebook

Vaccination in public health sector a priority, says top KZN Health official

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published Oct 11, 2021

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DURBAN - MORE than 20 000 health-care workers in KwaZulu-Natal have not been vaccinated against Covid-19.

The provincial Department of Health had planned to vaccinate more than 162 000 health-care workers when it started the vaccination drive as well as more than 127 000 employees in the Department of Education, and they had set dates to reach those targets, revealed Health head Dr Sandile Tshabalala.

“In the Department of Health, we found that there are more than 20 000 health-care workers who have not been vaccinated yet. The Department of Education, we found, is also not done vaccinating its staff.”

Tshabalala said the department wanted to vaccinate those health-care workers because it protected them and patients while they conducted their duties. They also wanted the Department of Education to reach its target.

“Today, we will be launching a programme where we will focus on employees and not just focus on sending them to look after the community.

“As the government, we should focus on them, especially the Premier’s office, the Health Department, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Sector Education and Training Authority and the (provincial) treasury,” Tshabalala said.

Home Affairs and the SA Social Security Agency also had frontline workers, he said, and therefore they planned to get all of them vaccinated so they could protect their families and those seeking services from them.

Tshabalala urged health-care workers who were not vaccinated not to spread fake news about vaccination.

Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said on Friday that Deputy President David Mabuza was at Moses Mabhida Stadium with the provincial Health Department as part of the recently launched Vooma Vaccination programme. Mabuza had stated that if a 70% vaccination rate was reached by December, then stadiums would be opened.

Simelane said the number of people being vaccinated in the province had started to pick up but then the rate of vaccination had started to decline over the past two or three weeks.

When they first started vaccinating, they had achieved the highest number of vaccinations among provinces, because they were ready, had vaccines and many vaccinating sites in rural areas, townships and urban areas; people could get vaccinated without any challenges, she said.

“So far we have vaccinated a little above 2.8 million people and now we have 327 active sites in the whole province,” Simelane said.

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