Health dept says no special travel arrangements for those who live far from vaccination sites

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • The government does not provide transport for people who live far from Covid-19 vaccination sites
  • Community healthcare workers are, however, taking note of those who need to be vaccinated at home
  • Researchers recommend that government comes up with a plan to provide transport to vaccination sites

As the second phase of South Africa's vaccination programme is underway for people over 60 years of age, the government is, however, not providing transport for people who live far from vaccine sites.

"We urge people with the means of transport in communities to help their neighbours and other community members with transportation to vaccination sites," says the national department of health spokesperson Popo Maja.

Home visits 

The department says that seriously ill and bedridden people can arrange for healthcare workers to visit their home to get the jab.

"We make special arrangements for home vaccination, especially for those who are unable to come to the sites due to seriousness of their health conditions," Maja says.

However, to meet the criteria for a home visit, Maja says that the patients' health conditions include being bedridden and unable or too old and sick to walk. The department is working closely with Community Healthcare Workers to identify these people.

Maja also says that people can speak to the Community Healthcare Workers in their communities or authorities at vaccination sites or health facilities about arranging a home vaccination visit. Alternatively, they can contact the call centre at 0800 029 999. 

Inequality in the vaccination programme

A recent study by the University of Johannesburg reported by News24 found that the Covid-19 vaccination programme discriminates against the poor. 

The research, which was conducted in Protea North, Soweto, found that people in informal settlements do not have the money to travel to get vaccinated, or adequate access to register for vaccination.

The report found that people would have to spend the little money they have for food on transport to get to a vaccination site.

One of the report's findings found that it would cost on average R44 for a round trip to the clinic, which is unaffordable for most study participants.

The researchers recommended that the government put an official transport plan in place to get people to vaccination sites.

*For more Covid-19 research, science and news, click here. You can also sign up for our Daily Dose newsletter here.

READ| The EVDS will schedule your appointments for the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine 6 weeks apart. Here’s why

READ| Covid-19: Delta variant symptoms include headache, runny nose – can feel 'more like a bad cold'

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
31% - 9563 votes
69% - 21628 votes