Many get jabs at pop-up vaccine sites

MORE JABS: Many people are stepping up to get vaccinated at the pop-up vaccination sites set up by Enoch Mgijima health sub-district office. On Wednesday, health workers were at Shell Ultra City administering the J&J vaccine Picture: NTSIKELELO QOYO

Pop-up vaccine sites are hitting the mark as vax hesitant people are stepping up to get their jabs. The sites are part of the Enoch Mgijima health sub-district vaccination rollout strategy to get the youth jabbed.

Sifiso Mohale, who has been hesitant about registering, got his jab at the Shell Ultra City vaccine site on Wednesday. He said he had been apathetic but decided to get the shot after he saw people getting vaccinated. “I was passing by and saw that they were here and decided to get the jab. I was not really paying attention to this getting vaccinated thing. Whether they work or do not I have been apathetic to it. I guess I just figured if I can just do something because it is being advised then why not? If anything goes wrong then I will cross that bridge when I get there,” said a chuckling Mohale.

It was a busy day for the health team which had been on-site since 9am and had administered more than 60 shots at midday. According to site manager, Zukiswa Khathangana, it had been a busy seven days since they started last Thursday at the Nonesi Mall with people lining up to get vaccinated.

“We are trying to bring vaccination to the people. Currently we are administering the single jab Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine. It does not mean we will not be having the Pfizer vaccine in the future, at the moment we have stocked J&J jabs,” said Khathangana.

She encouraged more people to come to the sites as vaccination may become a requirement by even employers in the future. “When people get vaccinated they receive a certificate. Many places are starting to require proof that people are vaccinated and this will be the case when they go to stadiums when they become open. Being vaccinated is not compulsory but we are encouraging people to get jabbed because when more people get vaccinated we move towards immunity. Currently, we are vaccinating people 18 years and older but those under that age are depending on us to get protected from the virus,” she said.

Jean Cassels from JJ Motors and Panelbeaters who arrived with five other colleagues to the site said they decided to pop by after their boss encouraged them to. “He also got vaccinated here today. He arrived at work and asked the rest of us when we are getting vaccinated and we all just decided to come down.”

Builders Express employee Andile Tsololo was also encouraged to get the shot after his colleagues got vaccinated. “I feel fine. I am excited and I am glad I got the vaccine.”

Health district chief director Sindiswa Tywabi said the sites will be extended to Sakhisizwe and Engcobo municipalities. “The overall objective is to ramp up vaccinations and improve coverage by taking the vaccines to where people are. This is also meant to reach out to the elderly during their SASSA pay days; youth as they are not very keen to go to the health facilities and men who are still hesitant taking the vaccine. In all the pop up sites we were able to achieve that to a greater extent. There is however still a lot to be done to reach out to the far flung areas and households for those who are not able to go to any of the sites.”

Vaccinations in Komani will continue until the end of the month at the Ultra City, Nonesi Mall, Boxer complex, Gardens Clinic and Lukhanji Mall from 8:30am to 4:30pm.