A group representing traditional healers has called for their members to be considered to receive the coronavirus vaccine alongside other healthcare workers, doctors and nurses.

This after South Africa received its first batch of vaccines from the Serum Institute in India earlier this week.

The Southern African Development Community Traditional Health Practitioners Association’s leader Professor Mbayimbayi Hlathi says, “We are calling to be in the first group to be vaccinated because the Constitution has put us in the Department of Health.”

“We are not working for the department, but we are with them. In South Africa, about 80% of people see traditional practitioners. The traditional practitioners see lots of clients and with COVID-19, how can you leave the traditional practitioners behind?

Traditional Healers want to be included in COVID-19 fight:

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize says, “Frontline health workers are the primary targets for this first round of vaccinations.”

He says, “The rest of the consignment will remain refrigerated in the BioVac warehouses awaiting distribution. The doses will be stored in three separate stockpiles as part of risk storage management. Once the vaccine has been cleared, BioVac will facilitate distribution to provinces according to the order list submitted by the Health Department.

A further 12 million vaccines have been secured via the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) COVAX facility and an agreement with Johnson & Johnson will give South Africa an additional 9 million doses.

South Africa’s vaccine rollout strategy: