People flock to Nelson Mandela Bay’s pop-up vaccine sites

“I can proudly say that all of us in the family of four have taken the vaccine,” says Gqeberha resident

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Photo of people walking in a street

Healthcare workers walk in Befile Street on Saturday to urge residents to go to KwaZakhele Clinic to get vaccinated. Photo: Thamsanqa Mbovane

Hundreds of residents in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, 18 years and older, streamed to pop-up sites on the weekend to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

Sites were open from 8:30am at Babs Madlakane Hall, Korsten Clinic, Despatch Town Hall, KwaZakhele Clinic, Metlife Plaza, Central Clinic and Cleary Park Shopping Centre. Vaccines were administered free of charge.

We visited sites in Gqeberha, Despatch and Kariega.

In Gqeberha at KwaZakhele Clinic in Befile Street, dozens came when they heard district Department of Health officials on loudhailers, calling them: “Please bring your ID book with you. Covid-19 is still here and it kills. Wash your hands, stay at home, wear your mask, let’s vaccinate so that we can all be safe.”

“Today, I can proudly say that all of us in the family of four have taken the J&J vaccine,” said Wandisa Madwayi.

“Some people don’t want to vaccinate,” she said. She was busy chatting to a friend by text on her phone who did not want to get vaccinated.

She said many people remain “suspicious” of the vaccine. She said, “Some of them are born-again Christians.”

“To me, it is better to take the vaccine than spreading conspiracy theories,” said Madwayi.

On Sunday morning at Babs Madlakane Hall in KwaNobuhle, Kariega, dozens of people came for their vaccines.

Sister Bulelwa Sola vaccinates Lungile Blaauw at Babs Madlakane Hall in KwaNobuhle, Kariega. Photo Thamsanqa Mbovane

Lungile Blaauw said, “My sister, my mum and myself have now all been vaccinated.”

Sinovuyo Zokufa travelled from KwaMagxaki in Gqeberha all the way to Despatch Town Hall to be vaccinated, after seeing the site on the municipality’s social media site.

She said that last year, herself and her mom and dad all came down with Covid. Her father had to be hospitalised. Now she was at last vaccinated.

In general the fixed sites were offering the two-shot Pfizer vaccine and the pop-up sites were offering the single dose Johnson & Johnson one.

Eastern Cape Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) manager Ndlelantle Piyana issued a statement on Monday morning, saying that Uitenhage (Kariega) is leading the metro in Covid-19 infections.

TOPICS:  Covid-19 Health

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