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‘Parallel vaccinations’ irk nurses’ union

The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa (Denosa) in Limpopo has expressed their dissatisfaction over the simultaneous vaccination of nurses along with those of persons over the age of 60.

This comes after the Department of Health launched the phase two vaccination rollout plan despite not having completed the vaccinations of healthcare workers, including nurses who are represented by the union.

Denosa Provincial Secretary, Jacob Molepo says the parallel vaccination phases are worrying as the department continuously allocates more vaccination sites where the same nurses are expected to vaccinate senior citizens. Through engagement with the department, they were informed that the slow pace of the phase one vaccinations was due to a number of factors with the most substantial being the recall of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“The current vaccinations are focusing mostly on people over the age of 60 and a visit to any vaccination site would be able to show that. Another reason that was cited by the department is the allocation of stock from the national department.”

The provincial department receives a certain number of vaccines weekly, and will have to wait until the next week before the next batch is allocated, which may hinder the vaccination process.

On 12 June, the official Covid-19 government portal recorded 346 new registrations in the province with a total of 59 054 healthcare workers vaccinated and 370 478 people over 60 vaccinated, with 280 of those vaccinated in the last 24 hours.

Molepo says the department has set a deadline of 30 June by which it would have completed the first vaccination phase.

Departmental Spokesperson, Neil Shikwambana confirmed that the two vaccination phases are running at the same time and that the department was confident it would complete the vaccinations of healthcare workers in time for its deadline.

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