sandf thumb medium90 89GroundUp reports that health workers in the military have had no vaccinations against Covid-19 since the programme to vaccinate public and private health workers began in mid-February.

Moreover, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) appears to be in no hurry to change that. In a document dated 17 March, a military medical worker, who is apparently in direct contact with Covid-19 patients, put in a formal request to be included in the Sisonke Vaccination Programme. The request was denied by a very senior officer and it was indicated that not a single military medical health worker was permitted to go outside the department of defence for a vaccine. Earlier in March, the SA National Defence Union (Sandu) threatened legal action if health workers in the military were not included in the Sisonke Programme. Pikkie Greeff, Sandu’s national secretary, indicated on Tuesday that the union would seek an urgent court order if nothing was forthcoming. “The military authorities are endangering its own forces by failing to vaccinate its health workers. Endangering [your] own forces is a criminal offence. The surgeon general should resign immediately,” said Greeff. The SA Medical Association (SAMA) has reportedly received numerous queries relating to Covid-19 vaccinations for healthcare workers of the SA Military Health Service (SAMHS). A document dated 23 February outlines the rollout plan of SAMHS and it is clear from the document the SAMHS plans to vaccinate its own staff and handle the process from beginning to end. But which vaccine the military wants to give its health workers, where, and how it plans to obtain them is not indicated.

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