The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) on Tuesday criticised the health department over the manner in which many elderly people are expected to register for the vaccine, saying this may lead to poor people being excluded from the vaccination process.
Last week Cabinet announced that Phase 2 of the vaccination programme, which includes inoculation for elderly people, will roll out on Monday, running simultaneously with the vaccination of health care workers, which was meant to end on May 14.
The EFF said it was “seriously doubtful” of the impact of Phase 2 in the fight against the Coronavirus (Covid-19).
“In numerous communities across the country, particular in rural, townships and informal settlements areas, there is still a need to engage and communicate with the elderly about the need to register for vaccination and the steps needed to have them registered,” the party explained.
It added that the health department seemed “ignorant” that digitised registration could be exclusionary for the elderly and the general population, as many people did not have the means to register online for the vaccine.
The EFF stressed that there had been no targeted communication campaign by the department to register elderly people to be vaccinated.
The party went on to explain that it was now common cause that no less than 600 000 health care workers had not been vaccinated by Monday, saying this is one of many deadly mishaps in the manner the Department of Health has handled the Covid-19 pandemic.
The party urged Health Minister Zweli Mkhize to kickstart a door-to-door campaign in townships, rural and informal settlements to register pensioners for the vaccine.
The EFF warned of vaccine hesitancy if vaccine registration and vaccination information was not properly disseminated to the public.