The first day of the three-day Pop Up Vaccination Site at SABC Auckland Park saw both walk-ins and drive- thru’s from students and professionals who were ready to get vaccinated.
The Premiers office in partnership with SABC and Johannesburg Health District launched the site on Thursday 26 August and it will run until Saturday 28 August, 2021. The site is open from 08:00 to 16:00.
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) have partnered with the district to encourage students to get the vaccine.
Sister Miemie Geya, Head of UJ’s Primary Healthcare Service said it was important to drive the message of correct, factual and scientific information from reliable sources.
“We are making sure that as we drive the message we are also availing an opportunity for people to get vaccinated. It’s important that we drive the benefits of vaccination while allowing people to ask questions and see if we can provide as much information as we can.”
Sister Geya said UJ had started vaccinations on Wednesday 25 August. As many as 100 UJ students and staff can get vaccinated a day at the Liberty Life vaccination site in Braamfontein. UJ has secured dedicated spots for staff and students, and vaccination is scheduled between 14:00 and 16:00 daily. UJ will make buses for students and staff shuttle services available to ferry from all campuses and to Braamfontein.
The SABC site has made available both the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine.
WITS university’s Head of Division of Clinical Associates and Chair of the Faculty of Health Sciences Logistics and Operations Team Mr Scott Smalley said the universities were able to share resources and monopolise on their close proximity.
“The most important thing is we are all of the same peer group and we are all interested in helping each other through academics so it makes sense to also help through health. Our numbers have gone up (at vaccination site). We now have 150 students every day, so there is a good interest and turn out.”
Gauteng Health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi said the partnerships with the different sectors in the province was helping to take the vaccines to the people.
“As a population of more than 15 million, we have targeted at least more than 10 million people to be vaccinated. We are doing it mainly to make sure that we do not go back to the hard lockdowns when the fourth wave comes. From here we will be taking vaccines to our communities and encouraging our health workers to do door-to-door per ward so we can know how many people are vaccinated. Science has proved that vaccines save lives. We are appealing to everyone to come and get vaccinated.”
UJ students Tanaka Mapondera, 23 and Tadiwanashe Mpofu, 23 were some of the first students to arrive at the vaccination site. Mapondera, a final year Industrial Design student at the Bunting Road campus said she decided to come to the site to get her vaccination after seeing a WhatsApp status from her contacts.
“It’s a walkable distance so I decided to come here. UJ has been putting up awareness all over campus. At our residence every floor has a WhatsApp group and information has been passed around about the vaccination.”
Mpofu, a third year Bcom Business Management student at the Kingsway campus, said as an international student it was important for her to get the vaccine.
“In different countries you find people are no longer able to travel from city to city let alone country to country if they have not been vaccinated. For me it is a safety measure for protection because at some point I am going to want to go back home so it is better that I get the vaccine. We should all get the vaccine and be protected.”
Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni also visited the launch site to observe the vaccinations.