Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande says he is concerned about the readiness of some KwaZulu-Natal hospitals to rollout the COVID-19 vaccine. This comes after Nzimande, who is part of the Ministerial Vaccination Committee, visited Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg.

The hospital has been identified as a vaccination site.

Vaccination of KwaZulu-Natal’s front-line healthcare workers started in Durban last week: 

This comes after the country received the first batch of 80 000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Nzimande says according to the management of Edendale Hospital, they do not know when they will receive vaccine stocks.

“The challenge that has been identified by hospital management is that even they don’t know when the vaccination will arrive, this is a bit confusing. But they are ready to start vaccination,” says Nzimande.

Nzimande has added that the hospital is still using a manual filing system instead of an electronic one, which could impact tracking people who have been vaccinated.

“The challenge that is facing the hospital is that it is still using the manual filing system, instead of electronic filing. But this is not a challenge for the health department only but the government as a whole is facing a similar challenge.”

Nzimande says the goal to vaccinate 40 million people in South Africa, will test the capacity of government to deal with the virus.

“We have to vaccinate at least 40 million people between now and the end of the year. So, the capacity of the system is going to be tested to the limit as to how we are going to be able to do what we are supposed to do and that is another big challenge, but working with communities and all other sectors we think that we can be able to effectively support the Department of Health to lead that effort.”