South African Police Service (SAPS) vaccination programme gains momentum

Two days after launching COVID-19 vaccinations for its members, the South African Police Service (SAPS) Vaccination Programme is gaining momentum.

This comes after just over 1000 more SAPS personnel received their jabs on Tuesday.

“On day two of the programme, a total of 2055 vaccines had been administered to police officers and support personnel at both the Orlando Stadium in Soweto and the SAPS Tshwane Academy vaccination sites,” the SAPS said in a statement.

At Orlando Stadium, 760 members were vaccinated, bringing the total number of members who have been vaccinated over the first two days at the site to 1 285.

At SAPS Tshwane Academy, the second vaccination site, a total of 770 members had been vaccinated over two days.

Constance Makhaye, a cleaner at the SAPS Tshwane Academy, was among those who got vaccinated on day two. The 58 year-old with 25 years of service said she was elated to have finally received the vaccine.

“I feel very happy about today, I was initially scared to vaccinate, now that I have recieved my vaccine, I am going to encourage my other colleagues to come and be the next in line to get vaccinated,” she said.

Captain Daniel Dhanarajan, a 48 year-old trainer attached to the SAPS Atteridgeville Academy, expressed equal delight.

“I feel very strong and relieved to know that my colleagues, family and I will be safe and guarded against the severe effects of this virus,” he said.

As of Tuesday evening, the number of members that have tested positive for the virus remains at 32 565. The number of recoveries stood at 30 955.

However, the number of those who succumbed to their COVID-19 illnesses rose to 673.

The SAPS reiterated that while vaccination is voluntary, it will continue to encourage all members to get vaccinated in a bid to operate optimally in serving and protecting the people of South Africa.

“Vaccinating our members does not mean we should stop adhering to the non-pharmaceutical health and safety protocols. The service will continue to ensure that all health and safety protocols at all service points remain in place and are adhered to by members,” it said.

The SAPS said there is an exclusion criteria for vaccination, this means that there are those who will not qualify to be vaccinated.

Among the excluded were those who had contracted COVID-19 in the last 30 days, any person who had received a flu vaccine within 14 days, and any member who had been vaccinated prior to the SAPS vaccination rollout programme commencing.

The police will continues to monitor preparations in place for the nationwide rollout at all 108 registered sites. The provincial rollouts will commence on Thursday in eight provinces. Gauteng will begin administering jabs on Friday.–SAnews