Police unions raise concerns regarding limited COVID-19 vaccines

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Unions representing members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) in North West have raised concerns regarding the limited vaccines available to inoculate their members across the province.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) and the South Police Union (SAPU) say only one of the eight identified vaccination sites in the province is currently operational.

About 10 545 members are expected to be vaccinated across the province.

Popcru Provincial Secretary Ouma Mokokong says, “We don’t think five days is enough as the union. Looking at the vastness of our province, remember we have stations as far as Mokopong, Bray and Vostershoop. So you still need to reach those members.”

Provincial Police Commissioner Major-General Sello Kwena says they expect that all their members will be vaccinated in five days’ time.

Kwena says, “We’ve got about eight vaccinations sites in the province itself, we’ve divided the people to go on different days according to the name list that has been circulated, so that on specific days members must go to vaccination sites to vaccinate. Even the members who are in rural areas will be called up to be vaccinated. All the members of the province in a period of a week or five days will be vaccinated.”

Vaccination drive

On Monday, the SAPS launched the vaccination drive in Soweto, Gauteng.

The Minister of Police Bheki Cele and the National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole joined the first group of police officers to get vaccinated.

The Acting Minister of Health Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane also attended the launch.

The SAPS has 107 registered vaccination sites across the country where all will receive their first jab of the Pfizer vaccine.

In the video below, Minister Cele addressed the launch: