'We are in trouble' - Nehawu urges govt to hasten vaccine roll-out

The union has slammed Health Minister Zweli Mkhize's vaccine roll-out plan, saying it lacked details and was very ambiguous.

A medical worker addresses some of the first South African Oxford vaccine trialists waiting ahead of the clinical trial for a potential vaccine against COVID-19 at the Baragwanath hospital in Soweto on 24 June 2020. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Healthworkers' unions Nehawu hoped government would take it into its confidence on its ambitious plans to vaccinate 67% of South African citizens by the end of the year.

The union has slammed Health Minister Zweli Mkhize's vaccine roll-out plan, saying it lacked details and was very ambiguous.

It also criticised government's attempts so far to acquire a vaccine, saying the state was caught napping while the world faced a pandemic that had killed millions of people.

The union’s Zola Saphetha called on Mkhize to prioritise frontline workers urgently, as they were more at risk of contracting COVID-19.

“We are in trouble. So, the sooner we meet, the better.”

The union said it would also work to ensure the working class and the poor were prioritised for the distribution of the vaccine when it became available.

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