nursing thumb medium90 93Reuters reports that nurses called on the government on Monday to ensure that overstretched workers in rural clinics and hospitals get access to Covid-19 vaccines.  

The call came as the hard-hit country received its first batch of doses.  Rural nurses have reported shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) such as face masks during the pandemic and – with few detailed announcements about inoculation plans for remote areas – many fear they could be last in line.  "Healthcare workers' hands are full as we speak, we are very concerned about overstretching them to breaking point.  It is important to not forget them,” said Sibongiseni Delihlazo of the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa).  SA has the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases on the continent.  One million shots of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine will be given to healthcare workers in the coming months, with an extra 500,000 set to arrive in February.  A recent health ministry presentation showed there are about 1.25 million health workers to be vaccinated and unions are already calling for more vaccines as each healthcare worker will need two doses.  In places so remote that they cannot be reached by car, healthcare employees fear limited access to vaccines could exacerbate difficult working conditions.  Healthcare workers will be first in line for vaccination under the government’s programme, followed by essential workers, the elderly, and people with underlying health conditions.


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