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Netcare issues warning to ‘walk-ins’ hoping to get vaccinated

Netcare Milpark Hospital
Picture: Netcare Milpark Hospital/ Facebook

By Kaya 959 News

Netcare has warned that only those who have registered to receive their COVID-19 vaccine, will be vaccinated at their facilities.

Netcare Hospitals MD, Jacques du Plessis, said this applies to those who have pre-booked.

Throngs of people gathered at the Netcare Milpark and St Augustine’s hospitals on Thursday to be vaccinated.

He said while both facilities have been set up to vaccinate a high number of healthcare workers, there are no additional vaccination slots available.

“We are unable to vaccinate any walk-ins. We strongly urge individuals without appointments not to come to either facility and endanger themselves by arriving en masse,” he said.

READ: Nurse shares challenges of working during the COVID-19 pandemic

Misinformation circulating

He said as the Sisonke programme, which is focussed on the vaccination of healthcare workers, comes to a close they are seeing an influx of people arriving to be vaccinated.

“This has not been helped by the misinformation which is currently being circulated,” Du Plessis said.

He said at Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital in Durban, unfortunately, a bottleneck of people queued outside the facility as a result of these incorrect messages.

“Inside our premises, at the vaccination facilities, we are maintaining social distancing with markings on the ground and chairs carefully distanced, but areas outside of our hospital grounds are unfortunately beyond our control,” he said.

Du Plessis said police have repeatedly told people who are gathering outside the premises and who do not have an appointment to leave, and ordered those queuing to respect social distancing guidelines, but to little avail.

Time-consuming process

Du Plessis noted that the vaccination uptake by healthcare workers is commendable.

“There is no shortage of healthcare workers wishing to be vaccinated at this time, and we are working efficiently and carefully, doing our utmost to ensure the safety of everyone.

“However, the challenge we are facing is that many people are arriving to be vaccinated without vouchers. To ensure minimum delay we would like to remind everyone to bring along all the necessary paperwork including proof of employment and identity document or passport,” du Plessis said.

He cautioned that the verification and registration process can be time-consuming, particularly with so many individuals arriving without having vouchers.

“It is therefore of vital importance that the process is properly followed. Only those who arrive with the correct documentation will be able to receive a vaccine, as has always been the case.

“We are pleased that we are able to assist the thousands of healthcare workers coming through our vaccination site at this time, however it is essential that those who arrive are eligible, have registered and have the correct vouchers with them in order to receive their vaccines,” he said.

READ: Ramaphosa calls on rich nations not to hog all the vaccines

Slow vaccine rollout

Meanwhile, the health minister has been slammed for the slow rollout of the Sisonke vaccination programme.

Opposition parties said the government has let the country down.

“We need to do everything we can to ensure a speedy vaccine rollout to save lives as the epidemic appears headed for a third wave of infections,” the DA’s Jack Bloom said.

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.

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