Limpopo province says its vaccination program remains on track. Several vaccination sites are being used in the province, with one private hospital also taking part in the vaccination study. Doctors are, however, calling for the processes to be accelerated.
The Limpopo Department of Health says just above 20 000 healthcare workers have received their Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
The province has registered close to 45 000 healthcare workers in its rollout plan. There are several sites located at the five districts where the vaccines are being administered.
Only three doses of the consignment received had not reached the arms of health workers after they had became expired.
Spokesperson Neil Shikwambana says, “The vaccination program is ongoing in that we received a certain number of batches and we identified some sites within districts and currently we are still administering those vaccinations. By yesterday, I think we had vaccinated over 20 000 healthcare workers so the program is still continuing. You’d know that there is still more healthcare workers who need to be vaccinated as we will be receiving more vaccines from national.”
Nurses union, the Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (DENOSA) says there are still challenges of registering nurses on the national vaccination data system due to technological glitches.
DENOSA says this will delay the vaccination of nurses as many struggle with network signal in rural areas.
In the meantime, the South African Medical Association Trade Union (SAMATU) has called on the government to speed up the rollout plan to include vulnerable groups.
“With the vaccination some of the anxiety is that it is still how should I say part of a study, but we have all been willing to do it because we understand the stages of the study and one has to be taken to the greater population which will use it and that is for us, a lot of us have agreed to be those guinea pigs, and we are happy that the government gave us that opportunities and made sure that it is happening. However, now we need to start the roll out to become a bit further I mean, see a lot of people here who are compromised, our elderly and those with co-morbidities especially in the hospitals. So we need to continue with that, I think the fight against corona is not over,” says SAMATU spokesperson in the province, Dr. Nkateko Mnisi.
The vaccination study in Limpopo is being conducted at the Ndlovu Research Facility in Moutse in the Sekhukhune district. The South African government has received criticism for lagging behind other African countries when it comes to vaccinating a large part of the population.