Watch: Charlotte Maxeke healthcare workers turned away from vaccine centre [video]
The Charlotte Maxeke’s vaccination centre turned away scores of healthcare workers with vouchers, citing shortage of vaccine supplies as the reason.
Large crowds have gathered outside Charlotte Maxeke Hospital in Johannesburg, where healthcare workers who were due to receive vaccine shots were turned away.
Watch: Charlotte Maxeke healthcare workers turned away
In a turnout that exposed South Africa’ snail-paced COVID-19 vaccination campaign, many healthcare workers who were scheduled to receive Johnson & Johnson jabs as part of the ongoing Sisonke programme were told to return next week Monday, Newzoom Afrika reported on Thursday.
These video clips, showing scores of dejected healthcare workers stranded outside the Joburg hospital, reveal the true extent of the vaccine shortages South Africa’s health department is struggling with.
Concerns rise over SA’s handling of vaccine rollout
According to the DA Gauteng’s Shadow Health MEC Jack Bloom, discrepancies over the vaccine registration system and the available supply of jabs has raised serious concerns about the health department’s readiness to take on the first official vaccination phase due to start next week.
“The Sisonke J&J trial is due to end soon as the general rollout for people over 60 years old is supposed to start next week. It is essential that the vaccination programme is properly organised, with measures to ensure that nobody jumps the queue,” Bloom noted in a statement.
Earlier this week, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) issued a notice, stating that “due to high demand at many sites we can only accept health workers and personnel with vouchers.”
However, holders of these vouchers, as seen in the video clips above, were part of the fleet of healthcare workers who were turned away on Thursday.
“Many health workers have arrived with vouchers and are told to come back, and then another excuse is given for why they cannot get the vaccination,” Bloom added.
At this time, no statement has been issued by the national health department on the steps it has taken to meet the supply demands at vaccination centres.