Siyanda Ndlovu
Digital Journalist
1 minute read
18 Jun 2021
2:07 pm

Health department’s silence on vaccine rollout too loud to ignore, says DA in EC

Siyanda Ndlovu

Describes the communication of vaccination schedules as increasingly stressful for the elderly.

A healthcare worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine. Picture: AFP/Patrick T Fallon

The DA in the Eastern Cape has complained about the minimal communication or rather silence from the provincial department of health and the national Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).

The party has since described the silence on vaccination schedules as increasingly stressful for the elderly.

It also described this as a sign the department is in “shambles.”

“Hundreds of thousands of people 60 years of age and older in the Eastern Cape are waiting anxiously to hear when they are due to receive their vaccinations,” DA shadow MEC for health Jane Cowley said.

“While they have received messages telling them they are registered, they have heard no further details regarding their vaccination appointments.”

Cowley said even the Covid-19 toll free number or any other health department number in the province when contacted had yielded no results.

“As the third wave tightens its grip on the province, the older generation are becoming increasingly panic stricken, particularly as hospitals and clinics say they have limited stocks of vaccines and thus no spares available for walk- in patients,” Cowley said.

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She said while administrators can blame the cumbersome EVDS system, equally the province must be held to account for the lack of communication.

“While the facilities themselves have been well organised, helpful and efficient, they too are hamstrung by vaccine shortages and can only administer what few vaccines they are given on a daily basis.”

At a time when calm reassurance and efficient service are required, they have created panic and stress.

Cowley said the national government’s poor planning and slow response to the pandemic, couple with the provincial health administration’s lack of communication, have failed vaccination delivery to the elderly.