You could soon get the Covid-19 jab at work — here's what you need to know

03 June 2021 - 13:05 By cebelihle bhengu
The health department is calling on businesses to offer Covid-19 vaccines. Stock photo.
The health department is calling on businesses to offer Covid-19 vaccines. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/ssilver

Health department director-general Sandile Buthelezi said on Wednesday the government is ready to pilot workplace vaccination sites, and called on businesses to come on board to ensure the success of the programme. 

The DG said those who work in sectors like education, public service and administration, agriculture, forestry and fishing, electricity and transportation have more chance of contracting Covid-19.

“We’re not saying they are more important than others, but rather more on the vulnerability on transmission,” he said on Wednesday in a statement.

WILL ANYONE BE EXCLUDED?

Buthelezi said about 15 million people who work in the formal and informal sectors will be eligible to receive the Covid-19 jab under phase 2. This excludes healthcare workers who received the jab under the Sisonke study.

IS THERE AN AGE LIMIT?

Buthelezi said the government will prioritise people aged 40 and older.

WHERE WILL THESE SITES BE?

The department will pilot several vaccination sites, including a site in the manufacturing sector, a state-owned company and a taxi rank in Midrand.

Buthelezi said workplace vaccinations will help the country ramp up its rollout.

He said the private sector has the capacity to vaccinate 30,000 people daily and the public sector 122,000. He predicted that, if businesses come on board, SA could inoculate 180,000 people a day. 

DO I HAVE TO BE VACCINATED? AND CAN I TAKE TIME OFF TO DO SO?

The Sunday Times reported that businesses and the government reached an agreement on workplace Covid-19 vaccine guidelines at Nedlac. Employees will be encouraged to get their jab and given paid time off to do so, but cannot be dismissed for declining the jab.

SA launched the second phase of vaccinations in May. The government aims to vaccinate 5.5 million citizens aged 60 and older by the end of June. 


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