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South African healthcare workers rush to beat deadline for Covid jab

Healthcare worker waiting to receive a dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine against the COVID-19 coronavirus as South Africa proceeds with its inoculation campaign   -  
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PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP or licensors

South Africa

In South Africa, congestions caused by hundreds of healthcare workers is being experienced in many Covid-19 vaccination centres.

Dozens of healthcare workers are trying to beat the deadline for the first phase of the vaccination process.

Many healthcare and frontline workers are still hoping to get the vaccine before this phase begins

"It's chaos. The traffic is a nightmare getting in here. I heard this morning that the staff also had difficulties getting in. As you can see from the traffic behind you, it's been like this since yesterday. Queues everywhere of everyone parking outside, inside, just trying to get in and trying to get on the Sisonke trial [of Johnson & Johnson vaccines aimed at healthcare workers] and trying to get their vaccinations," Moreši Mahlangu, doctor and a medical aid worker said.

Local reports have linked this recent traffic to misinformation where some members of the public would book in as health care or frontline workers.

The queuing always take time given the huge number of those in need of jabs. Some do return home unattended due to the large influx.

"I just hope there will be enough for everybody that actually does want to get vaccinated, you know, I think that's my only concern. Also taking into consideration what happened yesterday, you know, people had vouchers, people had appointments confirmed, but you get to the front and you've been waiting the whole day and then you don't get vaccinated,” Karabo Monaheng, Optometrist said.

The government has set May 17 as the beginning of the second phase of the jab priority given to those over the age of 60.

Several videos have been doing around social media showing hundreds of people packed up together without respecting the social distance waiting to be vaccinated.