Sisonke COVID vaccine trial: Not enough health workers getting booster shots

The dedicated trial opened on 10 November, but so far only around 200,000 healthcare workers have come forward.

FILE: Nomvelo Radebe (22) from Soweto received her COVID-19 vaccine jab at Bara Taxi Rank. Picture: Department of Health.

CAPE TOWN - The response from healthcare workers to a COVID-19 booster shot has been disappointing.

The dedicated trial opened on 10 November, but so far only around 200,000 healthcare workers have come forward.

As the health system prepares to deal with a fourth wave, Sisonke Study co-lead, Professor Linda-Gail Bekker said it's crucial that healthcare workers get jabbed again.

"Smaller provinces are looking very disappointing. We are particularly worried about KwaZulu-Natal which seems to be lagging a lot despite the fact that we vaccinated a lot of people in the province initially," she said.

Bekker stresses even in the face of coronavirus variants such as Omicron, vaccination does help to protect people from severe illness and death...

"To date the vaccines have held out very well when it comes to severe diseases and death. We have seen an impact in vaccine performance in terms of protecting against general infection but they were designed to stop people dying and they have really held up in that regard," Bekker said.