Silence on vaccination schedules stressful for elderly

Issued by Jane Cowley, MPL – DA EC Shadow MEC for Health
18 Jun 2021 in Press Statements

The ongoing silence from the Department of Health in the Province and from the National Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) regarding the rollout of the vaccine for the elderly is not only unacceptable, but also sheds light on a department that is in shambles.

Hundreds of thousands of people 60 years of age and older in the Eastern Cape are waiting anxiously to hear when they are due to receive their vaccinations from the Department of Health, but while they have received messages telling them they are registered, they have heard no further details regarding their vaccination appointments.

Contacting the Toll Free Number or any other Health Department number in the province yields no results. As the third wave tightens its grip on the province, the older generations are becoming increasingly panic stricken, particularly as hospitals and clinics say they have limited stocks of vaccines and thus no spares available for walk- in patients.

Administrators blame the nationalised and cumbersome EVDS system but the province must also be held to account for the lack of communication. While the facilities themselves have been well organised, helpful and efficient, they too are hamstrung by vaccine shortages and can only administer what few vaccines they are given on a daily basis.

I have written to the MEC for Health, Nomakosazana Meth, to urge her to communicate EVDS updates on all media platforms, Municipal Liaison Officers and Old Age Homes in the province, so that this information can be disseminated to the elderly, who can then rest assured that they will indeed receive their vaccines.

The National Government’s poor planning and slow response to the pandemic, and the provincial health administration’s lack of communication, have failed vaccination delivery to our elderly people. At a time when calm reassurance and efficient service are required, they have created panic and stress.

In the DA –led Western Cape, regular updates on all media platforms, as well as a more secure supply of vaccines, have seen the elderly being vaccinated quickly, calmly and efficiently. This is because the DA gets things done.