KZN Health MEC will take Covid jab, department confirms

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KZN MEC for Health, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu during the official launch of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out programme at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Durban on Thursday.
KZN MEC for Health, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu during the official launch of the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out programme at Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital in Durban on Thursday.
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The KwaZulu-Natal Health Department on Monday confirmed that its MEC, Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, who last week raised questions after failing to take the Covid-19 shot alongside the first batch of healthcare workers as expected, will take the jab.

Speaking during the department’s Facebook live channel, the department’s head, Sandile Tshabalala, said the MEC has no issues with the vaccine.

“We don’t know what those people who are saying she [MEC Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu] won’t take the vaccine are talking about. She will definitely be taking the vaccine.”
KwaZulu-Natal Health Department head, Sandile Tshabalala

“We don’t know what those people who are saying she won’t take the vaccine are talking about. She will definitely be taking the vaccine.

“But knowing how the MEC values people in rural areas, we won’t be surprised if she were to take it in one of the rural areas as part of educating communities there about the vaccine.

“She does not believe that everything should happen in the big cities,” he said.

This was after some healthcare workers in the province expressed concern that the MEC’s failure to take the jab sent out confusing messages.

Read more: KZN vaccine roll-out a milestone, says Premier Zikalala

The department, which is currently vaccinating its healthcare workers after receiving about 10 000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine from national government, is on a campaign to counter anti-vaccine narratives in the public domain.

Despite scientific evidence proving that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is both safe and efficacious, there were perceptions among a section of the population that the process leading to the manufacture of the vaccines had been rushed.

In a bid to counter these perceptions, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize and several Health MECs across provinces took their jabs in front of television cameras.

The failure by Simelane-Zulu to take the jab during the province’s launch of the vaccine roll-out programme on Thursday created perceptions that she was not convinced about the quality of the medicines.

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