KZN health department slams fake vaccine sites walk-in messages

26 May 2021 - 12:30
Fake news about walk-ins has caused chaos at some Covid-19 vaccination sites in KZN. File photo.
Fake news about walk-ins has caused chaos at some Covid-19 vaccination sites in KZN. File photo.
Image: Alaister Russell/Sunday Times

The KwaZulu-Natal health department has shut down a fake message claiming walk-ins are welcome at several Covid-19 vaccination sites in Durban.

The message has been circulating on social media and claims citizens over the age of 60 who have registered for the Covid-19 vaccine can visit any vaccination site to receive their jab. 

“From this week, if you are 60 years and older, once you have registered you can walk in to any of these venues: Moses Mabhida Stadium, Pinetown Civic Centre, Stonebridge Hall in Phoenix, Clairwood Hospital and Prince Mshiyeni Hospital to receive your vaccine as the system has not yet started allocating appointments,” the message reads. 

This fake message circulated on social media.
This fake message circulated on social media.
Image: Facebook

Speaking on East Coast Radio, head of the department Sandile Tshabalala warned the message was fake news. 

He said the message has caused chaos at the province's vaccination sites. 

“We have seen people streaming in. When you have done that, we do not turn people away,” said Tshabalala. 

“We do register them and we also vaccinate them. Where possible we encourage people to come with their ID books.”

TimesLIVE ran a poll recently asking whether all vaccination sites should allow walk-ins. A total of 48.15% of voters said yes, citing that not everyone has access to the internet. 

More than one third, or 35.19%, believed walk-ins would cause overcrowding at vaccination sites while 16.66% of voters said it was still too early to allow walk-ins.

The phase 2 vaccine rollout for senior citizens and people with comorbidities started earlier this month. 

Government urged that those eligible for the vaccine should register through the government’s electronic vaccination data system (EVDS). 

Health minister Zweli Mkhize said at the launch of the second phase the vaccine will be administered in 83 public sectors and four in the private sector and no walk-ins will be accommodated. 

“If you miss your vaccine appointment for any reason, you will be rescheduled, that is given another date and time to be vaccinated. If you miss three appointments, you will not be rescheduled again. However, you will still be on the system, and can ask to be scheduled again by calling the Covid-19 hotline or visiting a registration site,” said Mkhize.