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ELDERLY VACCINATION RESUMES TODAY

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MBABANE - The suspension of the elderly COVID-19 vaccination exercise has been lifted.

Two days after the COVID-19 vaccination exercise for the elderly was put on hold, the Minister of Health, Senator Lizzie Nkosi, has announced that it will resume today. She announced this yesterday in a COVID-19 vaccination announcement press statement. “The Ministry of Health is announcing that the vaccination programme for the elderly and bagcugcuteli (health motivators) will be at Lobamba Clinic, National Church, Maliyaduma KaNdvuna and Kukhanyeni Inkhundla.

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“The ministry will continue announcing the COVID-19 vaccination centres daily. The starting time for the vaccination exercise in the listed centres is 7am,” said the minister. Nkosi said people should register for vaccination on www.eswatinihealth.org. On Tuesday night, the ministry, through the Eswatini Government pages on social media, announced the vaccination exercise of the elderly had been suspended. “The Ministry of Health notifies the nation that the elderly vaccination exercise is currently in abeyance as inoculation of more healthcare workers, including bagcugcuteli, continues. The public will be updated of the next elderly vaccination schedule,” she said. The vaccination of the elderly began last Wednesday and since the exercise started, there have been concerns on the large numbers of the elderly who cram the tinkhundla centres without practising social distancing, making them (tinkhundla) potential superspreaders.

Also, concerns have been raised by the elderly that they would return home without them being inoculated in some vaccination sites due to the late start of the exercise. Others complained about having to endure long hours in queues before being eventually vaccinated. The minister also said the ministry was pleased to update the nation on the good progress made in the COVID-19 vaccination rollout in the country.  “The vaccination rollout, as outlined in the National COVID-19 Vaccination Deployment Plan (NVDP), started with healthcare workers for a period of one week, after which the elderly and those with comorbidities followed in the ensuing week.
“Currently, the vaccination of healthcare workers is running concurrently with that of the elderly and those with comorbidities (Phase 1A and B) of the NVDP,” she said.

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