Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Thembi Siweya, says she is satisfied with the rolling out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Mpumalanga.

Siweya visited the Shongwe Hospital to monitor the state of readiness for Phase 2 of the province’s vaccination programme.

She was accompanied by the MEC for Health, Sasekani Manzini.

Shongwe Hospital is one of the COVID-19 vaccination sites in Mpumalanga. Currently, the programme is focusing on frontline workers. About 16 000 of the more than 51 000 healthcare workers in the province have been vaccinated so far.

The province is waiting for more vaccines so it can continue with the first phase of the programme.

Most of the frontline workers have welcomed the programme and they say the vaccination will ease their anxiety of contracting COVID-19.

Mpumalanga has so far recorded more than 64 000 COVID -19 cases with more than 1 300 fatalities.

“I am very much delighted although sometimes there is that fear about the side effects. I have seen some of my colleagues. They have (been) vaccinated and there are no side effects. I am willing to take that risk. We are very grateful for the vaccination, because we work in very difficult conditions. Sometimes, patients arrives in critical conditions. This thing is good, because we can protect ourselves and family as well,” the healthcare workers say.

The province has so far received more than 17 000 vaccines.

Manzini says more sites are being opened in preparation for Phase 2 of the programme.

“We managed to vaccinate 16 624. We are planning to put more sites in the province because so far, we are left with 941 vaccines, that we are busy with. The sites that are left include Evander, and Kwamhlanga. We are also opening other sites at Embuleni and Themba Hospital,” says the MEC.

While expressing satisfaction with how the programme is proceeding so far, Deputy Minister Siweya also acknowledged that more resources are needed.

“I am very much impressed (with) the fact that they were able to designate a site and say this is going to be the vaccination site.  If you are coming to the vaccination there is a different entrance; there is a separation between your normal patients and these ones. We are really impressed,” she says.

The presidency is monitoring the COVID-19 vaccination programme across the country.

Below the national Health Minister outlines COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan: