Vote and Vaccinate

Health Minister, Dr Joe Phaahla, has announced that 1 000 voting stations in South Africa will have pop-up vaccination sites on Election Day, 1 November.

Addressing the media on Friday, the Minister told the journalists these sites will target mainly areas where the uptake of vaccination has been low.

“We hope that this arrangement will offer convenience in that people will have travelled from their homes and they’ll achieve both their vote and vaccination in one trip.”

The Minister, who was addressing the media briefing on government efforts in the fight against COVID-19 and the national vaccination rollout programme, welcomed the support of political parties.

According to Phaahla, no organisation has raised any objections for the public to be able to have another opportunity to receive a vaccination closest to their voting stations.

“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.”

In addition, Phaahla said the one-dose Johnson & Johnson will be the main jab used to avoid people from going back for their second shot. 

However, Pfizer jab will be available if an individual prefers it or they are due for a second dose.

“We thank our health workers who raised their hand to be on duty on this day.”

He also expressed his gratitude to the Electoral Commission of South Africa (IEC) authorities for their support and cooperation.

“We are happy to announce that Nandos Chicken has donated R500 000 as an incentive for health care workers for a small competition on Election Day.”

In addition, Nandos is offering 1 000 vouchers valued at R500 each which will be awarded to members of 15 best performing teams in each province.

This means 135 teams will be spread equally in all provinces, which stand a chance to benefit with each team member receiving the R500 voucher.

In addition, Uber has also offered free rides up to R100 each for health workers who will be on duty on Election Day.

“We appreciate every form of incentive which encourages people to vaccinate.”

The Minister said the lists of pop-up vaccination sites will be available on South Africa’s official Coronavirus and departments’ websites.

IEC’s Janet Love thanked the Department of Health and the medical experts for working closely with their organisation to enable navigate the elections.

In terms of operations, she said all voting stations will make provision for personal protective equipment, hand sanitisers at the moment of PPE provisioning, for every voting station, hand sanitisers, disposable bins with lids and disinfectants for surfaces.

In addition, she said every official will be wearing a mask and is encouraging every voter to do the same and sanitise their hands at different stages.

“Certainly before entering the voting station, masks are compulsory and that we keep our distance to the 1.5 metres to every extent possible.”

The IEC has also made provision for the special vote that will kick start on Saturday until Sunday and said similar protocols will apply. 

“The voter will be asked to wear a mask if possible, their hands will be sanitised and the indelible ink will be applied with a disposable cotton bud.” – SAnews.gov.za

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