Pretoria, 15 July 2021: The South African Police Service (SAPS) Vaccination Drive has surpassed the 20 000 mark with the prioritisation of operationally exposed members, including cleaners and security personnel. With the planned vaccination rollout currently underway since last week, interventions are in progress to ensure the urgent vaccination of those members deployed to quell public violence and unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

The vaccine rollout for Kwa-Zulu Natal (KZN) is yet to kick-off after plans were interrupted by the civil unrest in the area. The situation in KZN demanded the immediate response and maximum mobilisation of members and resources, hence the delay in the rollout of the vaccination programme.

To this end, management has assured members that everyone will be vaccinated to ensure their health, safety and well-being. Management has also taken this opportunity to express gratitude to members in KZN for exercising patience and understanding during this challenging period.

The Service continues to prioritize members who are at high risk of exposure to the virus ensuring that they are first in line to be vaccinated. Those who are 60 years and above as well as those with co-morbidities are also receiving preference. To date, a total of 23 375 doses of the Johnson and Johnson Vaccine have been administered to police officers and support personnel in eight provinces and at national head office. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 34 021 members have contracted the virus. 31 786 of them have since recovered but sadly, 698 members have succumbed to the virus.

While the vaccination drive moves with speed, members are reminded that the vaccine is not meant to cure Covid-19 but to prevent severe illness and death. Members are reminded to adhere to the workplace health and safety protocols that are in place at all service points and 1 154 police stations. It also imperative that non-pharmaceutical interventions of sanitizing, wearing of masks and social distancing be strictly adhered to in a bid to ensure the health and well-being of members and the communities that we serve.

“As management we are satisfied with the pace at which our nationwide vaccination drive is progressing and we are urging more of our police officers and support personnel to get vaccinated. Our members in KZN must rest assured that management is looking into plans to get them vaccinated as a matter of urgency, concluded Lieutenant General Franscinah Vuma – SAPS National COVID-19 Steering Committee Chairperson.