By Puleng Maphisa – 01 October 2021
The Vaal University of Technology, in collaboration with the Department of Health in Gauteng, the Sedibeng region, Gauteng Provincial Government, Tshepo 1million, and Gauteng Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, held a 3-day, vaccination Pop-up and walk-in vaccination drive at the VUT Isak Steyl Stadium.
The drive was to encourage students and the general public from the surrounding community to get vaccinated.
The project, joined by YFM, eNCA, BEVSA, VUTFM, Gauteng Provincial Government, Department of Health, VUT Student Counselling and Support, Center for Health Education and Development CHED, Occupational Health Department and the VUT Campus Clinic, kicked off on Thursday, 9 September 2021 and ended on Saturday, 11 September 2021.09.22
The Sedibeng district is an “under performer” with vaccination. The main objective of the DoH was to make vaccine available to everyone in this district within a radius of 5km. Some people made use of the drive-thru option, whilst others walked to the stadium. First and/or second dose Pfizer vaccine were made available, and nobody was turned away.
During the eNCA interview with the Sedibeng District Health Services, Ms Senate Sejake said that it is important to have people vaccinated within the Sedibeng region. “People tend to believe the myths that they read about on social media and/or hear from other people. We are making efforts to have at least 70% of our people vaccinated”.
She further mentioned that the vaccine will reduce the risk of premature death, chances of having severe illness; even if tested positive for COVID-19 and effectively reduces spreading of the virus.
Gauteng Premier, David Makhura added that, getting vaccinated doesn’t necessarily means that people won’t be infected, but it is about returning the country to the life people used to live before the pandemic. “I got vaccinated sometime in July and believe me, it was worth it. I am one of those people that scientist declares to have, what we call, ‘long COVID’, meaning you experience COVID symptoms for a very long time and it takes weeks or months before you can recover; but when you were vaccinated, you will recover much quicker. This is the reason I am here today; to encourage everyone to vaccinate. I am a living testimony and I believe that doing door-to- door today would bring much more hope to those who haven’t vaccinated” he said.
The Premier mentioned that Sedibeng is marked as a “red” district, meaning it is the most perilous area, which was the first to put Gauteng into the 3rd wave. Furthermore, he said that if a large number can be vaccinated, be it Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson, it would be much better within the district as it will reduce the spread of the virus.
Director of Community Engagement, Mr Joseph Radebe and Director of Marketing and Public Relations Ms Kediemetse Mokotsi receiving masks donations
On the 2nd day of vaccination, the Director of Community Engagement, Mr Joseph Radebe, delivered more than 3000 surgical masks, a donation from the Embassy of Vietnamese. He mentioned that it is in the best interest for VUT to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Embassy in terms of student exchange program and other programs that might be relevant. He furthermore said that the engagement of signing a MOU would be led by the Sedibeng District Municipality.
The recipient of masks, Ms Kediemetse Mokotsi, Director: Marketing and Public Relations at VUT said that they welcome the donation and appreciate the partnership between VUT Community Engagement, the Sedibeng District Municipality and the Embassy of Vietnamese. “We can only save the nation if we take hands and work together. I save my life, we save everyone’s life,” said Ms Mokotsi with a joyful smile.