Young nurses’ union calls for more health workers to be hired, boycott of vaccine

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Young Nurses Indaba Trade Union (YNITU) is calling for the boycott of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine as it is not yet clear what it does to the body. President of the YNITU, Lerato Mthunzi, says she won’t be taking the vaccine.

“A lot of people are saying they won’t be forced to take the vaccine in fact we will have to boycott this particular vaccine. It makes sense because you have not even told us what we must be vaccinated against and also you are not telling us what we must inform the communities.”

Health  Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize has said healthcare workers will be prioritised when South Africa gets the vaccines. A first batch of doses is due this month from India.

Minister Mkhize briefs the Portfolio Committee on status of healthcare services: 

However, Mthunzi says South Africans must first be properly educated about the vaccine. “You need to tell people about the pros and cons. People cannot just be vaccinated, people must be educated and that’s what we advocate for.”

The union also says it is worried that government is failing to hire more health workers despite the growing number of infections.

They are also complaining that nurses are overworked, underpaid and afraid for their lives because they are allegedly still expected to work without Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) in some instances.

Full interview below:

More needs to cope with current surge

Meanwhile, acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research & Innovation at University KwaZulu Natal, Professor Mosa Moshabela, says South African’s needs to find a way to cope with the current situation, I look back and think that there are things we could have done differently. I called for lockdown much earlier but no one had appetite for it. We had issues of economy that people were concerned about, the livelihoods and these are real issues.”

Moshobela is urging the government to take tough decisions to slow the spread and not wait until there’s a worst case scenario.

Full interview below: