Western Cape govt and Golden Arrow launch pop-up vaccination site

Daylin Mitchell, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, and Golden Arrow Bus Services CEO, Francois Meyer, today  launched a pop-up vaccination site at the Arrowgate bus depot in Montana.
Daylin Mitchell, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, and Golden Arrow Bus Services CEO, Francois Meyer, today launched a pop-up vaccination site at the Arrowgate bus depot in Montana.
  • The Western Cape government and Golden Arrow launched a pop-up vaccination site.
  • The site is at the company's Arrowgate bus depot in Montana.
  • According to the bus company, 75% of its employees have already been jabbed. 

Golden Arrow Bus Services, in conjunction with the Western Cape government, launched a pop-up vaccination site at the company's Arrowgate depot in Montana, Cape Town.

The Arrowgate pop-up clinic forms part of October transport month activities, while incorporating the provincial government's commitment to take Covid-19 vaccines to the people.

Golden Arrow workers, including bus drivers, eagerly queued for free vaccinations on Monday.

The vaccination outreach is a partnership between the provincial departments of health and transport, and Golden Arrow. 

Light vehicle driver Claudine Hull, aged 50, was one of those who lined up to be vaccinated.

Employees at GABS registering to get their vaccinations

Hull says she is a Covid-19 survivor and fears becoming seriously ill again.

"I am getting my vaccination because I had Covid-19 the first time around and it scared me completely. I am getting my vaccination to protect myself because of the type of work that I do. I work with the public and work on the road. I am exposed to other people every day. I know if I get my vaccination, it decreases my chances of becoming seriously ill again or dying due to Covid-19," Hull said.

ALSO READ | SA’s Covid vaccine drive - 5 problems and solutions from rural South Africa

Bus driver Siyabonga Rasneni, aged 36, proudly showed off his arm after being vaccinated.

Rasneni said he works with hundreds of people every day and wants to keep safe against COVID-19.

Like Claudine, Siyabonga works with hundreds of people every day and wants to be safe against Covid-19.

"I got the vaccine because I want to feel safe. It's because of our job as well. We work with money and many passengers. I thought It would be good for me to get vaccinated to keep safe, and to keep my family safe as well," Rasneni said.

MEC for health Nomafrench Mbombo, accompanied by MEC for transport Daylin Mitchell, visited the site for the launch.

Mbombo stressed that vaccines are safe.

She said:

We can ensure that we don't experience a severe fourth wave. But we need to take our vaccines. To everyone here today in the transport sector, we know that you are exposed as you work with many people every day. Thank you for taking your vaccines.

During the third wave, people aged 50 and older made up 30% of Covid-19 cases, 60% of admissions, and 83% of deaths.

Mbombo called on workers in this age band to be vaccinated ahead of the December festive season.

"While we start to vaccinate our children, we still need to vaccinate many elderly residents. There are many people, who are 50 years and older, who still need to get vaccinated. I urge you, and all residents in this age band, to visit their nearest vaccination site to get their jabs."

The vaccine pop-up clinic forms part of October transport month activities while incorporating the government’s commitment to take Covid-19 vaccines to the people.

For queries, people can reach out to the call centre at 0860 142 142.

Mitchell said: "The vaccine is highly effective in preventing severe Covid-19 illness, that may lead to hospitalisation and death. That is why we are working hard to bring vaccines closer to our communities, to save lives and jobs."

READ | This is where people aged 50+ can catch a free ride to Covid-19 vaccination sites in 3 provinces

He added that it was very important for the government to target public transport operators.

"Public transport operators are working in areas of high transit as they transport people to and from different destinations, and their staff often find it difficult to visit vaccine sites to get jabbed," he said.

Golden Arrow CEO Francois Meyer said the bus company transported about 250 000 passengers per day.

Meyer said: 

This partnership will add an essential dimension to the company's existing vaccination drive, which makes use of buses to transport employees from all across the company to vaccination sites during working hours.

According to the bus company, approximately 75% of its staff had already been vaccinated - but the aim now was to make it possible for every employee to be vaccinated.

"This pop-up clinic will allow us to make it easier for our bus drivers, who work shifts, which often makes it difficult for them to visit facilities, to access vaccinations as they come in from their morning shift or before they begin their afternoon shifts," Meyer added.

If you come across Covid-19 vaccination information that you do not trust, read Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here. If you can't find the facts you're looking for, email us at the address mentioned in the article and we will verify the information with medical professionals.

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