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SA leaders get COVID-19 vaccine to encourage senior citizens to vaccinate

Written by Marcia Zali

Leaders including Sophie Williams-De Bruyn, Trevor Manuel and Mfundi Vundla received the jab this week to show citizens the vaccines are safe and to encourage eligible citizens to register to get vaccinated.

Three days into phase two of the vaccine rollout plan, senior citizens aged 60-years-old and above continue to get their jabs at designated sites.

Several leaders of society got vaccinated publicly in an attempt to encourage more eligible South Africans to register and get vaccinated.

Among the leaders was Sophie Williams-De Bruyn (83), the last surviving organiser of the 1956 Women’s March to the Union Buildings.

Williams-De Bruyn got vaccinated at the Alexander Community Health Centre, where she called on communities to not let their guard down now that the rollout was open to other groups of the population.

Phase two of vaccine rollout

Phase two officially launched on 17 May following the completion of phase 1B, where healthcare workers, traditional healers and funeral parlour employees were the targeted population. By 18 May, at least 8 060 people had been vaccinated and this included those who received the jabs at the 24 vaccination sites and 11 old age homes across the Gauteng province.

The province has to date vaccinated almost 135 000 people identified to be vulnerable to severe illness, hospitalisation and death as a result of COVID-19 infection, including healthcare workers since the start of phase two.

“Vaccination is so important, I lost my mother to COVID-19 last year and as recently as Friday last week, we buried another friend who passed away from COVID-19. I want to encourage every person to get vaccinated, and now it is the turn of those of us who are above the age of 60,” said former Finance Minister, Trevor Manuel.

Manuel got vaccinated at Hillbrow Community Health Centre.

“It is the only precaution, it’s the only safety we have against COVID-19. I want to ask the people to register and get vaccinated, please,” he added.

Encouraging the public to register

Renowned film producer and the creator of popular soap opera Generations the Legacy, Mfundi Vundla got the jab at the FF Ribeiro Clinic in Pretoria.

He has also joined the growing number of leaders who have publicly received the COVID-19 vaccines to address vaccine hesitancy and safety concerns around the vaccines.

“I just got the vaccine for COVID-19 for the first jab, my next jab is on the 9th of June. I encourage all the 60-plus people to come and get vaccinated. It’s important for themselves, their families and for the country,” said Vundla.

“It is not painful, the staff here is very friendly and helpful, just come here and get vaccinated,” he said.

Vaccination in Gauteng

According to the Gauteng Provincial Government, over 5000 vaccinators have been trained with almost half of them (2 445)  working at the various vaccination sites, which will be scaled up as more doses are made available to the province.

“Every health district has got a database of elderly people who are not able to come to the site. They have already been visited by our community healthcare workers,” said Vuyo Mhaga, the spokesperson to Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

So far, 346 379 people have been registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System in Gauteng. – Health-e News 

About the author

Marcia Zali