47 500 vaccines lost in recent SA unrest, says health department

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
  • Around 47 500 Covid-19 vaccines have been lost in the recent unrest in SA.
  • More than 100 private pharmacies have been damaged, including 71 vaccination sites.
  • Many of those who have been arrested in connection with the unrest have tested positive for Covid-19.

Around 47 500 Covid-19 vaccines were lost during unrest that ripped through KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

In a digital briefing on Friday, Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said 120 private pharmacies were damaged in the violence.

Of those, around 71 were vaccination sites, Business for South Africa's Martin Kingston said in the same briefing.

READ | #UnrestSA: Gauteng vaccination sites reopen after low turnout during violence

And pharmacies weren't the only part of the health sector that suffered.

"The violent nature of protest unsettled the sector as a whole. At the height of the unrest, there were disruptions in all areas of the health delivery system," Kubayi added.

This caused a decrease in the number of vaccines administered in affected provinces due to the closure of vaccination sites.

Vaccination resumption

Most public vaccination sites in KwaZulu-Natal were not damaged during the unrest, Kubayi added. This allowed the health department to resume vaccinations in the province quickly.

She added that there had been a minimal interruptions to the vaccination programme in Gauteng, despite the unrest.

Kubayi added that while the country appeared to have passed the peak of its third wave of infections, the unrest could cause a surge.

"We are extremely worried that the many gatherings that we saw during the unrest in the two provinces, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal, might lead to another surge in numbers. We are watching this situation very closely," she said.

Kubayi urged those who were part of protest gatherings to get tested for Covid-19.

She added that a number of people who had been arrested in connection with the unrest had presented positive test results and were being isolated by correctional services officials.

More than six million vaccines had been administered by Thursday, Kubayi added.

Do you want to know more about this topic? Sign up for one of News24's 33 newsletters to receive the information you want in your inbox. Special newsletters are available to subscribers.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can 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. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Who do you think should accept responsibility for the dire state of Eskom’s power system?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Eskom’s current management must take the fall
4% - 179 votes
Previous bosses from Zuma years are to blame
32% - 1635 votes
Mantashe and govt have been asleep at the wheel
31% - 1567 votes
There are many culprits; it’s a complex situation
33% - 1666 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.35
-1.0%
Rand - Pound
21.29
-1.3%
Rand - Euro
18.30
-0.9%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.80
-1.5%
Rand - Yen
0.13
-1.1%
Gold
1,799.14
+0.5%
Silver
23.52
+2.0%
Palladium
1,963.53
+1.7%
Platinum
1,030.50
+2.1%
Brent Crude
76.15
-1.3%
Top 40
68,351
+0.1%
All Share
74,548
+0.1%
Resource 10
73,315
-0.7%
Industrial 25
92,605
+1.0%
Financial 15
15,401
-0.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE