KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) launched its first pop-up drive-through mass vaccination site on Friday, in Richard's Bay, to vaccinate as many people as possible before the predicted fourth wave expected at the end of the year.
KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala said the pop-up drive-through would help ramp up the vaccination numbers to help the country reach population immunity and drive economic recovery.
“The drive-through vaccination site minimises personal interaction and offers ease of access to the vaccine as citizens will now be able to walk in to get vaccinated, while others will now be able to get vaccinated in the comfort of their cars while continuing to maintain all the safety protocols,” he said.
The mass vaccination programme will also see that members of the Provincial Cabinet venture into churches, community residential units, shopping malls and other places to drum up support for vaccination.
“With the collective partnership, we will be able to ensure that vaccination programmes reach everyone – particularly the most vulnerable communities. The experts have also noted that the risk of an adverse outcome from the virus is minimal for persons who are inoculated. It is now abundantly clear that our passport out of this pandemic, which must take us back to normal life and the better functioning of the economy, will be determined by us taking the vaccine,” Zikalala said.
He acknowledged that the tourism sector was hardest hit by Covid-19-induced national lockdown, with travel restrictions imposed due to the global pandemic. He added that the vaccination drive would help the sector recover.
"One of the country's most popular tourism destinations, boasting great weather, long beaches and world heritage sites like St Lucia Wetlands and the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, needs to be put back into use,” he said.