Health Minister Zweli Mkhize is pictured next to Archbishop Thabo Makgoba who was vaccinated during the Phase 2 launch of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out campaign in KwaZulu- Natal yesterday at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg. The provincial health department is urging those who are eligible to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)
Health Minister Zweli Mkhize is pictured next to Archbishop Thabo Makgoba who was vaccinated during the Phase 2 launch of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out campaign in KwaZulu- Natal yesterday at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg. The provincial health department is urging those who are eligible to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency (ANA)

Religious, traditional leaders in KZN lead the way in Phase 2 vaccination

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published May 19, 2021

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DURBAN - RELIGIOUS and traditional leaders aged 60 and over led the way by receiving the Covid-19 vaccination on Tuesday, the second day of Phase 2 of the roll-out.

Regular senior citizens were also among them.

They received their jab during the launch of the second phase led by Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize and Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane at the Royal Agricultural Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg.

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba, of the Anglican Church, was among those who received the jab on Tuesday morning.

Makgoba is in the province to preside over an elective assembly to choose a new Bishop of Natal.

He said he could follow the registration process even though his children call him a “born before IT”.

He said it was enabling, empowering, simple and to the point, and he received his SMS within 30 minutes.

“Of course if you don’t know you’re a bit anxious, but I’ve been determined that I choose vaccination and I choose to in some way, (to) encourage South Africans to get vaccinated,” said Makgoba. He said he will go for his second dose next month.

“This is the first week, this is the launch. I wanted to be part and parcel of really saying to my followers and parishioners, ‘let’s do it,’ because if I do it next week they’ll say, ‘was he doubtful or not.’ So it was really a commitment to do it.”

Makgoba would head to Joburg to bury his older sister, 80, a retired nurse who died from Covid-19 complications.

Provincial House of Traditional Leaders chairperson Inkosi Phathisizwe Chiliza was among the traditional leaders to be vaccinated alongside Cardinal Wilfrid Napier and other clergy.

Eileen Kerr getting her Covid-19 jab. Picture: Supplied

Eileen Kerr, 90, was one of many senior citizens who queued for the jab. Her daughter-in-law Brenda, 62, said they registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System as soon as it was launched.

Brenda said Kerr had volunteered to get vaccinated and they felt she “still had a few more good years left”.

“We’re very thankful to get our vaccines today (Tuesday),” she said.

Cheryl Smith, 72, was also happy to get vaccinated. She admitted that when there were negative talks about Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines, she was “extremely nervous and scared”.

“But after I did my own research, the alternative to not having this injection, I don’t even want to consider. I’m not ready to die yet,” she said.

Simelane said 92 715 public and private health-care workers (62 009 public and 30 706 private) had been vaccinated but 69 427 still needed to be vaccinated. “In the province there are a total of 689 prepared vaccination sites for the roll-out of both the Pfizer and J&J vaccines. These are made up of health facilities, community halls, Thusong Community Centres, and other public amenities,” said Simelane.

“But for now though, as we make a start, no fewer than 27 health facilities and five community vaccination sites commenced with the Pfizer vaccination yesterday (on Monday). The names of all of these centres will be made public.”

She said they were targeting 2.933 million people in Phase 2, made up of 955 048 people who were 60 and older. They will be targeting 30 000 vaccinations a day, five days a week, after receiving the J&J vaccine.

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