Health department ’taking vaccines to the people’

Maria Williams, 47, and Cecil McDoyi, 62, received the Covid-19 vaccine in Lansdowne.

Seventeen homeless people got their Covid-19 jabs during a provincial health department outreach drive in Lansdowne and Wetton, last Friday.

The department provides this service for those who can’t get to a vaccination site, says spokeswoman Natalie Watlington.

“As far as possible, we encourage community members to come to their nearest vaccine site. The Athlone Vaccination Centre of Hope is well-equipped to provide vaccines to large numbers of people. When specific groups are unable to access our services (or another site), we will provide an outreach service to accommodate those groups.

“It is our priority to vaccinate everyone who wants the vaccine, and we will do our utmost to ensure access to the vaccine. We rely on community leaders to guide us in identifying such groups so we can assist.

“We also wish to remind all clients, that our sites are able to register and vaccinate all undocumented clients. Our street based clients have very limited means of accessing vaccine sites, so we are therefore ‘taking the vaccines to the people’.”

Cecil McDoyi, 62, was among those vaccinated..

“I heard about Covid-19 and people dying. No-one is guaranteed not to get it, but the vaccine can help us fight against it. After speaking to the team from the health department, I have no concerns about the vaccine,” he said.

Maria Williams, 47, said: “My faith is strong, and with faith comes action. People should not fear the vaccine, but rather take it, so that we can protect ourselves and our families. I want to thank the team for explaining things to me in a manner that I understand.”

Clinton Hendricks, 39, and his partner, Shihaam Abrahams, 33, were also vaccinated.

Shihaam Abrahams, 33, and Clinton Hendricks, 39, celebrate getting the vaccine.

Said Ms Abrahams: “I was scared, but I spoke to Clinton and the team, and they answered all my concerns. Now I am happy I agreed to take it.”

Clinton Hendricks, 39, receives his vaccine.