Unrest has great impact on vaccination and delivery of chronic medication
According to Dr Nicholas Crisp, deputy director-general at the Health Department and in charge SA’s vaccination rollout, only a small amount Covid-19 vaccines did get stolen during the past week’s unrest. KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) was affected worst and most vaccination sites had to be closed down.
But the biggest disaster with the looting of medicine isn’t vaccines; it’s the looting of chronic medicine, Crisp told Mia Malan (Bhekisisa Centre of Health Journalism) 16 July 2021.
He told people who have received their first Pfizer jab that they may have up to an 42-day gap between the first and second dose.
Huge delays have occurred in the delivery of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines and only 1.5-m of 31-m doses have been received, said Crisp.
Unfortunately, the unrest has also prevented the cash-in-transit industry from delivering cash at social grant pay out points where the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) was planning to reach people of 60 and older with vaccinations at pension pay out points. Mobile vaccination vans will now vaccinate people by going door-to-door.
We should be worried about KwaZulu-Natal in particular, and also some communities in Gauteng, where sites are closed and we can’t reach people with vaccines. But in the rest of the country, the programme is going ahead, said Crisp.