Cosatu welcomes almost 1 000 pop up clinics on election day

Cosatu has welcomed the health department’s decision to set up almost 1 000 pop up clinics for people to get vaccinated on election day.

The pop clinics will be set up at voting stations across the country to increase the number of people who have to get the vaccine doses.

“The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the Department of Health and its private sector partners’ deployment of 938 mobile vaccine units for election day, Monday 1 November,” said Cosatu spokesperson Sizwe Pamla.

“This is another opportunity for those who have not yet been vaccinated, to do so. This is a timeous boost in preparation for an anticipated fourth wave at the end of November. Many will be located near voting stations; others will be deployed to locations with a large amount of traffic, whilst it was not possible for vaccine units to be deployed to cover all 24 500 voting districts, most municipalities, towns, and communities have been covered,” he said.

He added that vaccines have proven to be effective across the world against the virus.

The IEC also said it has joined hands with the Department of Health to set up the mobile clinics at some voting stations to get many people vaccinated.

It said this will be an opportunity for people who have not received the vaccine to get the jab.

IEC vice chairperson Janet Love said this was an important measure to increase the number of jabs.

“The importance of the protection that vaccinations against Covid-19 afford all in our country is something that was a focus of the recommendations in the report of Justice Moseneke. The Commission greatly appreciates the on-going support we have received from scientists in the Department of Health and various other medical experts which enabled us to navigate the pandemic and implement relevant best practice. While the Electoral Commission urges all eligible voters to cast their ballots in these elections, we urge all South Africans – whether registered or not – to take advantage of these pop-up sites and vaccinate.”

Earlier Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla said they welcomed the partnership they have struck with the IEC to help increase the number of people to be vaccinated.

“We are pleased to announce that we have agreed to set up ‘pop up’ vaccination sites in the vicinity of at least 1 000 voting stations throughout the country, targeting mainly areas where the uptake of vaccination has been low. The sites will be set up in the voting precinct but outside the area demarcated strictly for voting so that they don’t interfere with the main purpose of the day which is voting,” said Phaahla

He said he hoped this will achieve the desired result of getting more people vaccinated.