The Democratic Nursing Organisation (Denosa) says the vaccination programme rollout has been poorly planned and implemented.
The organisation says there are long queues that end up in stampedes exposing people to COVID-19 infections.
The situation turned into chaotic scenes in Bloemfontein on Wednesday with hundreds of teachers queuing outside the Gonyane Primary school hall without observing social distancing.
The Departments of Education and Health only aimed to vaccinate 500 teachers on the first day and as the day progressed, things got out of control as teachers pushed one another to be let inside the school hall.
Some of the teachers complained that there was no proper planning for the vaccination process.
“We are unhappy about the whole situation they told us we are going to get inside according to the programme they allocated us time. Now things are so disrupted. There’re no social distancing, there’s no marshal’s, no social distancing everything is out of order,” said one teacher.
“We are unhappy because the MEC was here, the HOD was also here but we are treated like unprofessionals, look at us, look at us as teachers, we are here we don’t have social distancing, most of us are sick here. Already we do have the virus now,” added another.
Education MEC Tate Makgoe spent the entire day at the vaccination centre where he was also vaccinated. Makgoe says their plan was compromised by the message the teachers received.
“But apparently yesterday, somebody said to them let’s go vaccines may finish, so everybody decided to come today. So we’ve got a lot of people that we were not expecting but, however, I think it’s important to remember that Bloemfontein has been one of the areas that is hard hit with coronavirus.”
“And you can understand the anxiety, people are anxious to get the vaccine. They just need to make sure that they get the vaccine that they must be healthy, they must social distance. So we have asked some of them to say to them look you can go back, you can come tomorrow and they said no they want it today,” adds Makgoe.
Denosa Acting General Secretary Cassim Lekhoathi says the shortage of personnel at vaccination sites hampers government’s vaccination targets.
“As Denosa we are not involved in the planning thereof and that is one of the weaknesses. On a small scale of just vaccinating teachers, we still have 40 odd million people that still need to be vaccinated. Their shortage of personnel to execute that and the reputation of what happened yesterday is going to carry on.”
Chaos erupts at a vaccination site in Bloemfontein:
Reaction to the first day of vaccination of teachers: Dr. Chris Klopper