MEC for Health in Mpumalanga Sasekani Manzini has encouraged those who have not been vaccinated yet, to get the shot. Manzini was speaking at the Witbank Hospital in Emalahleni, where the department launched a booster shot programme for healthcare workers.

The booster shot is being administered to healthcare workers who received their initial shot during the first phase of the Sisonke study between February and May this year.

It is reported that vaccine immunity is waning, especially in older people.

Nomusa Sehlake, one of the healthcare workers who received a booster shot, says she was reluctant to take it, but this changed when she received a message explaining the reasons.

“Because we are exposed to this virus of COVID-19, I decided to come and take this booster to protect myself and family,” says Sehlake.

Gustav Venter was part of the team that conducted the clinical trial for the booster dose.

“It’s definitely going to help. We saw the stats. We saw the outcomes based on clinical trial. It’s going to help to boost your immune system and your antibody formation in your system.”

Manzini says about 21 000 healthcare workers in Mpumalanga are being targeted for a booster dose. She says an increase in vaccinations leads to a decrease in infections.

“We want to thank the more than 1 million South Africans residing in Mpumalanga that have vaccinated. That encourages us, because that is 33% of the population and also, we want to request those that are still remaining to take their ID books to most of our health facilities and hospitals,” says Manzini.

The province has so far recorded 152 000 COVID-19 cases with 2004 fatalities. It currently has 131 active cases.

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