Tebogo Msimanga |
The Department of Health on Tuesday confirmed that the national vaccination programme is continuing across most provinces, with vaccines being safely distributed to operational sites.
However, the recent violent protests have impacted the vaccination rollout and also disrupted access to essential healthcare services including collection of chronic medication by TB, HIV, Diabetes and other patients in some districts and areas in both KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.
Health Department Spokesperson Popo Maja said anyone who had been scheduled to be vaccinated at sites in districts or areas that are affected by the unrest are advised to postpone their vaccination. “The Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS) will automatically reschedule appointments for those unable to attend, it is programmed to reschedule up to two missed appointments.
The Department further said it is also aware that some pharmacies and medical centres have been looted, and that stock has been stolen. “The public is warned not to buy any medicines offered for sale by anyone other than registered medical practitioners, pharmacies or hospitals, and to report any attempted sale to the SAPS immediately.”
All people who are eligible and scheduled to vaccinate in the affected areas, are urged to call COVID-19 Call Centre on 0800 029 999 or make use of the various self-help channels: vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za, WhatsApp 0600 123 56 or Dial *134*832# and reply to the messages.