Batswana turned up in large numbers to heed the call for the second dose phase of their COVID-19 vaccine shots at the different vaccination sites in the capital city.
The Monitor interviewed some people at the sites, who believe that the Ministry of Health and Wellness will build up the vaccination site numbers to cater to the overwhelming numbers of Batswana looking to take their second dose as well as some who came to take their first dose of the vaccine shot, adding to the overcrowding that was already seen at some of the jab stations.
On Friday, when The Monitor team visited the different sites, the roll-out seemed to be going well despite minor challenges where doses allocated for the day had been depleted while many more people were still queued.
While there were specific sites for teachers, nurses, police officers amongst others who are regarded as frontline workers, some people sought hopes of a first or second dose, particularly at such sites meant for teachers, but were turned away. “Despite the setbacks that characterised the resumption of the vaccination roll-out programme in the Greater Gaborone, District Health Management Teams (DHMT) area, the majority of people that came were eventually vaccinated,” the Ministry of Health spokesperson, Christopher Nyanga said in a public notice dated August 20, 2021.
“Each vaccination site in the Greater Gaborone, DHMT was, therefore, vaccinating between 250 and 300 people per day, which was way more than the usual 100 people per day per site that get vaccinated on normal days. As a result, the number of vaccines allocated to members of the public, as first doses (AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson) for the Greater Gaborone DMHT are already running short in some sites. We expect them to be completely finished on August 23, 2021.”
At the Maruapula site, chief registered nurse Thomas Mosweu said the turnout of people for their first and second doses was very impressive for AstraZeneca, and Johnson & Johnson. “More than 400 people have been in the queue. Some are taking their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccines. Some Batswana are very cooperative and we have communicated with them that some might not receive their dose today, especially some who came for the first dose if we reached the limit for the day. We are vaccinating 300 people for the day,” Mosweu said.
At Kgatelopele Clinic in Block 8, senior registered nurse Vincent Koronji also said the turnout was overwhelming and they are doing their best to help people despite the large numbers.
“The only challenge is that some people who do not qualify to be vaccinated also came and we did explain to them. The numbers are very impressive and so far there is good cooperation between us and the public. If we reach our limit, we will communicate with them,” Koronji told The Monitor.
Others looking to get their first doses found themselves turned away at some of the sites that were specifically attending to second dose candidates only.