By: Poelano Malema
The SAPS vaccine roll-out programme has surpassed the 20,000 mark.
Lieutenant General Franscinah Vuma, SAPS national COVID-19 Steering Committee Chairperson, said this number includes officers, cleaners, and security personnel.
Vuma said priority was given to police officers deployed to quell the unrest in Gauteng and KZN.
The vaccine roll-out for KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) is yet to kick-off after plans were interrupted by the civil unrest in the area.
“The situation in KZN demanded the immediate response and maximum mobilisation of members and resources, hence the delay in the rollout of the vaccination programme. To this end, management has assured members that everyone will be vaccinated to ensure their health, safety and well-being,” Vuma said.
Officers in their 60s and older, and those with comorbidities, are also being prioritised.
To date, a total of 23,375 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine have been administered to police officers and support personnel in eight provinces and at the national head office.
Since the beginning of the pandemic last year, 34,021 members have contracted the virus.
Vuma said 31,786 of them have since recovered but sadly, 698 members have succumbed to the virus.
She said while the vaccination drive moves with speed, members are reminded that the vaccine is not meant to cure COVID-19, but to prevent severe illness and death.
Members are reminded to adhere to the workplace health and safety protocols that are in place at all service points and 1,154 police stations.
“It is also imperative that non-pharmaceutical interventions of sanitizing, wearing of masks and social distancing be strictly adhered to in a bid to ensure the health and well-being of members and the communities that we serve,” Vuma said.
She added that they were satisfied with the pace at which the nationwide vaccination drive is progressing and are urging more of our police officers and support personnel to get vaccinated. “Our members in KZN must rest assured that management is looking into plans to get them vaccinated as a matter of urgency,” she said.
Image courtesy of iStock/ @Artem Podrez