By Kaya 959 News
UPDATE (3:56 pm): The nurses have since returned to their wards. The Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa says nurses have received more clarity about why only a certain number of health workers were being vaccinated each day.
Management at the Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital in Soweto have addressed the healthcare workers who staged a sit-in at the vaccination centre.
The nurses refused to leave the vaccination centre on Wednesday morning, demanding they be given COVID-19 jabs.
This after the staff responsible for the centre said they can only vaccinate 15 nurses on the day.
The healthcare workers allege that it is the third day they are being turned away.
This nurse spoke to Kaya 959 News from the vaccination centre.
“We came today and we are at work. We need to go and attend to the patients. We are in the maternity section where we admit each and every time… And each and every day we receive COVID-19 positive mothers.
“And we have to deal with those people. And now when they chasing us away and saying we are not on the list, it is a problem indeed. We’ve got families, we are going to infect our children,” one nurse said.
Urgent meeting provides clarity
Hospital management has since held an urgent meeting with Denosa – the trade union for nurses and midwives.
Management explained that the decision to vaccinate 15 nurses is a directive from the National Department of Health.
Denosa’s Sipho Dinabantu says they have accepted an explanation from the hospital with a pinch of salt.
More than 67,000 health workers were vaccinated in 10 days during the first phase of South Africa’s vaccine rollout, which began in February.
The second phase of the rollout is set to kick-off in April and will include the elderly.
President Cyril Ramaphosa told the nation on Sunday that the process was on track.
“The start of our vaccination campaign has so far gone extremely well. It has shown what we can achieve much when we work together as a government, the scientific community, the private sector and community-based organisations,” he said.
All nine of South Africa’s provinces have vaccination sites. Ramaphosa says the country has secured more than 40- million COVID-19 vaccine doses to date.
Third wave fears
South Africa has recorded over 50,000 COVID-19 deaths. While the country has seen a slight drop in the number of infections, health experts have warned the upcoming Easter holidays and winter season could cause a third wave of infections.
Experts fear the third-wave could hinder South Africa’s efforts to reach its herd immunity target in 2021.
— Kaya 959 News (@KayaNews) March 3, 2021