Limpopo Premier Stanley Mathabatha and Health MEC Dr Phophi Ramathuba, have on Friday launched the province’s COVID-19 vaccine roll-out programme at Mankweng Hospital, in the Capricorn District.
This follows the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the country on Tuesday, with President Cyril Ramaphosa, Health Minister Dr Zwelini Mkhize marking the official start of the vaccination programme in the country on Wednesday.
They joined healthcare workers at the Khayelitsha District Hospital where they were the first to receive the COVID-19 jab.
Mathabatha has described the launch as the last push towards the fight of the COVID-19, which he says will give birth to a new normal.
Mathabatha says it is crucial for health workers to be vaccinated in the first phase to save lives.
Dr Ramathuba says they will be vaccinating health workers in Mankweng Hospital throughout the weekend
“We are going to push and make sure that by the end of the week, all those vaccines that have been allocated, they are finished, and we will be waiting for the second batch” she says.
Limpopo currently has 61 260 COVID-19 cases and 1 785. It is hoped the vaccine will help South Africa, with the most cases and deaths on the continent, win the battle against the pandemic.
The City of Johannesburg has reiterated its call for residents to stop spreading conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 vaccine.
The office of the speaker of Joburg held a webinar called Truth on COVID-19 and 5G Connectivity, on Wednesday night.
The aim of the webinar was to debunk myth surrounding coronavirus and the celluar network.
Speaker Nonceba Molwele has urged residents to rely on government information on the COVID-19 vaccine.
“There is also another issue around the lack of confidence around the vaccine itself and that some do not trust the vaccine based on the view or belief that the vaccine on itself is man-made, with the objective of wanting to control the new world order.
“This is where the issue of 5G comes in and there have been so many theories and conspiracies about how the rollout of 5G technology is to blame for coronavirus.”
University of Johannesburg Vice Chancellor Professor Tshilidzi Marwala was one of the speakers.
He says there is no link between COVID-19 and 5G.
“COVID-19 is a virus, a virus is a biological organism, it is alive and it dies if it doesn’t find a host and that is why we are told that on a hard surface, COVID-19 dies after three days.
“There is absolutely no link between 5G and COVID-19,” adds Marwala.
Marwala says people are making this link because the COVID-19 outbreak coincided with the launch of 5G in 2019.
“So, people are thinking because 5G was launched in 2019 and COVID-19 came to the world in 2019 that there is a causal relationship. There is no causal relationship between the two, it is correlational and in statistics when we study, we are told that correlation does not mean position,” Professor Marwala says.
South Africa received its first batch of vaccine doses this week. The AstraZeneca vaccine arrived at the OR Tambo International Airport, in Ekurhuleni, from Serum Institute in India on Monday.
Frontline healthcare workers are first in line to receive the shots, which are due to be administered after two weeks as they are currently undergoing quality checks.