Nurses from the Sarah Bartmaan District doing screening of Coronavirus at the Tsitsikama Tall gate.This is part of the district and Eastern Cape Government's commitment to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
Nurses from the Sarah Bartmaan District doing screening of Coronavirus at the Tsitsikama Tall gate.This is part of the district and Eastern Cape Government's commitment to combat the spread of the deadly coronavirus. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Many nurses will end up as patients if government doesn’t roll out the vaccine soon - Denosa

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published Feb 10, 2021

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Cape Town - Many nurses will end up in hospital beds as patients, if the government doesn’t roll out the J&J vaccine very soon.

This is the message from the Democratic Nurses Union (Denosa), after the government announced earlier today that the Covid-19 vaccination programme is likely to take place next week but could not give more specific details.

Thousands of nurses across the country had their hopes dashed after the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout was put on hold - which was supposed to take place this week - after studies revealed that it offered minimal protection for mild to moderate Covid-19 symptoms in patients infected with the 501Y.V2 variant circulating in the country.

Denosa spokesperson, Sibongiseni Delihlazo said although they welcome government’s move, they are worried about the wellbeing of nurses should there be any more delays in the roll out of the vaccine.

“Very soon many nurses will be lying in hospital beds as patients and there will be no one to care for the sick in hospitals. We urge government to start rollout as soon as possible to protect our nurses, who have been working tirelessly since the pandemic started last year. They are tired, some of them very sick because of a lack of proper PPE,” he said.

Health Minister Zweli Mkhize revealed that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will proceed in the form of an implementation study with the partnership of the Medical Research Council and the National Department of Health vaccination sites across the country

Meanwhile,The National Education, Health and Allied Workers Union said despite the delays its members were still eager to receive the vaccination when it arrives.

“We understand that viruses do mutate and from time to time they change so the government must be extra vigilant. Workers still want to get vaccinated because they believe it will protect them. We are still working hard to convince more workers and even society at large to take the vaccine because we believe it will offer relief to stop transmission,” said union spokesperson Khaya Xaba.

Last year over 27 000 healthcare workers tested positive for the virus and more than 430 healthcare workers succumbed to Covid-19.

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