Some KZN health workers have declined Covid-19 vaccine: health MEC

22 February 2021 - 14:09
KZN health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu says some health workers have declined the Covid-19 vaccine. File Photo.
KZN health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu says some health workers have declined the Covid-19 vaccine. File Photo.
Image: KZN department of health

KwaZulu-Natal health MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu says some health workers have refused to be vaccinated and won't be forced to do so.

She was speaking at a media briefing on Sunday, where she said there were "a couple" who have refused to be vaccinated.

"The president and the minister have always indicated that no-one is going to be forced to vaccinate.

"But we are all required and requested to vaccinate so that we are able to reach that herd immunity percentage that is needed."

Simelane said in instances where health workers were reluctant, they were sometimes counselled to help allay fears.

"Sometimes we get the health worker to be spoken to, to see what are the challenges and fears.

"We see if we are we able to assist with their fears and are we able to counsel them.

"In a case where a health worker refuses to be vaccinated, we don’t force them. Of course there are processes that need to followed."

She appealed for people to take the vaccine.

"The only way we can have herd immunity is if more than 70% of our population is vaccinated."

According to a Sunday Times report, a Western Cape health department poll found that only 54% of health workers want to be vaccinated. Another 26% were unsure and 19% said they would decline.

Prof Barry Schoub, chair of the vaccine ministerial advisory committee, said in the report that health workers’ doubts were reasonable.

"Once everything is communicated to them, chances are they will change their minds. This hesitancy shows that we need more education and more communication about the new vaccine before conspiracy theories get out of hand."

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