While some villages and small towns may be boasting of large quantities of COVID-19 vaccines, many people who are eager to vaccinate seem to be hitting a snag, particularly in the Greater Gaborone, more especially in Gaborone city itself.
Well, unfortunately, the celebrations were short-lived. People flocked to the vaccination centres in large numbers and most of the private clinics are currently left with no vaccines and unending telephone calls from individuals who want to book for inoculation.
It seems all the private institutions have run out of supplies, and there is no communication whatsoever as to when they will likely get the next batch of vaccines.
In the meantime, those private institutions and some government centres were busy turning away people without answers as to when they can return for their jabs. The government introduced the Greater Gaborone DHMT Drive-Thru Vaccination Campaign, which was meant to encourage young people to go for vaccination.
That was indeed a brilliant idea, and it seems to have worked, but unfortunately, as all the vaccines were taken or reserved for the drive-thru, it left other centres stranded. Unless we are not told the idea was for all Batswana to ignore the other centres and flock the drive-thru!
We need to pay more attention to our planning and contingencies in a more organised manner. Centres have run out of vaccines, and there is no communication. It is not known whether we are still waiting for more vaccines or what the issue is.
Understandably, vaccines are arriving in batches, some of which are in very small quantities, but in every situation, communication is key. Let people know what is going on. Most Batswana really want to be vaccinated, but lack of communication frustrates them, as some keep bouncing or turned away at inoculation centres.
One is kept guessing as to whether the vaccine blackouts at centres around Gaborone were caused by the fact that all resources had been committed to the drive-thru campaign, or it was just an issue of waiting for more supplies to arrive.
We are ready to vaccinate, keep us informed at all times! While there are challenges along the way, the government, however, needs to be commended for efforts to vaccinate the whole nation. We however urge government to improve the communication part.
Some people will give up if they keep bouncing at vaccination centres.