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‘Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate': National Health Laboratory Service

07 December 2021 - 12:23
Any mandatory vaccination programme in parts of SA, workplaces or communities must be well thought-out and structured, says the National Health Laboratory Health Service. File photo.
Any mandatory vaccination programme in parts of SA, workplaces or communities must be well thought-out and structured, says the National Health Laboratory Health Service. File photo.
Image: SEBABATSO MOSAMO

“Vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate.”

This was the urgent call from Prof Koleka Mlisana, National Health Laboratory Service executive manager for academic affairs, research and quality assurance, at a National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) summit on Tuesday.

“The bottom line is we need to vaccinate,” said Mlisana.

“We need to make sure we get a booster for everybody. This is the most effective intervention.”

Nedlac said its members supported broad vaccine mandates to help SA emerge from the pandemic.

“That is highly commendable,” said Mlisana.

The country had lived through a great deal of misinformation during the Covid-19 pandemic, and it was important all communication was structured appropriately for all communities so people could make informed choices, Mlisana said.

“The question is, how does an ordinary South African know which is a credible source of information?” said Mlisana. 

“We need to see how we’re going to drive that message.”

She said incentives would hopefully spur vaccination rates.

“We need to take the population through this and say, if you want to watch your favourite sport, make sure you are vaccinated.”

It was important that implementing mandatory vaccinations in specific areas, workplaces and communities of SA must be “well thought-out and structured”, she said.

Looking to the future, Mlisana said SA needed a plan on how to move from containment of the pandemic to mitigation and living with SARS-CoV-2. “Because we are truly going to live with that.”

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