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I am an elderly and retired person who registered for a COVID-19 vaccination as soon as it was possible to do so. Imagine my excitement when on March 31, I found a vaccination schedule in the Times of Eswatini that my turn for a first jab would be the following day at the Mbabane West Inkhundla. I put aside my other plans, got up really early and made my way into town. On arrival, I was informed that the exercise had been postponed due to delays of the previous day to elsewhere.


Disappointed, I got back on the bus home, wondering when the next opportunity would be and how I would know, since I live in a remote area and do not read the papers every day. Besides, it was Easter weekend so I resigned myself to finding out the following week. Imagine my surprise upon reading in the Times on Tuesday after Easter holidays that vaccinations had been conducted at my location the previous Saturday and I had missed out. I also read that instead of starting at 7am as announced, the team pitched up at 11am! No wonder they had to work until 8pm. How do elderly people then get home at that hour? And why are thousands of vulnerable people expected to congregate in one small area for hours and hours when they have come for protection against a virus, not exposure to it? While I must generally commend the Ministry of Health and government for their handling of this pandemic, this phase of the battle needs to be better strategised if we are to win the war.

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