Tuesday, January 31, 2023
HomeLifestyleVirus jabs available on board S.Africa's vaccine train

Virus jabs available on board S.Africa’s vaccine train

A rundown South African railway station has been converted into an unlikely vaccination site where a shiny white train brings jabs to remote areas and boost sluggish uptake.

One by one, people waiting in plastic chairs spaced out across a platform in the town of Springs, 50 kilometres (30 miles) east of Johannesburg, were called to board a vaccine centre on rails — the “Transvaco”.

“We want to try and vaccinate as many people as possible in a short space of time… (and) bring vaccines closer to rural areas,” the train’s manager, Paballo Mokwana, told AFP on Wednesday.

Funded by state logistics firm Transnet, the train has the capacity to jab 600 people per day in a specially-refurbished carriage lined with vaccination cubicles.

Its eight other carriages are used for accommodation, storage, staff dining, electricity generation and other essentials.

After a two-week stint in Springs, the train will set off next month for a three-month swing through impoverished Eastern Cape province.

But less than 100 people have showed up per day since the Transvaco opened its doors on Monday.

The low turnout is largely blamed on lack of awareness and vaccine hesitancy hindering inoculation in Africa’s worst virus-hit country.

Uptake, slightly boosted since the eligible age was lowered from 34 to 18 last week, has remained generally low.

“I’m still too scared,” admitted train station worker Zacharia Matuludi, 28, spraying incomers with hand sanitiser.

“The chemicals… I don’t know how my body will respond to them.”

Sitting in a makeshift post-vaccine observation area on the other side of the platform, 40-year-old Olive Selati said she had delayed the process after hearing “a lot of stories.”

In the background, a health worker briefed a small group of people about vaccine types, precautions and possible side-effects.

A recurring concern is whether the jab could impact anti-retroviral drugs used to treat HIV, of which South Africa has the world’s highest prevalence.

Between shots, health workers said the government should do more to promote the vaccine and dispel myths.

They also noted that young people were easily put off by needles — which “seem huge” on television — and advice not to drink alcohol after the jab.

Turnout is always lower “on Fridays… because it’s the weekend, they want to go and enjoy themselves,” said vaccinator Bongani Nxumalo.

Mokwana was confident the train would be more successful once the word spread, particularly in areas with poor health coverage.

Just over 8.4 million people have been fully vaccinated in South Africa out of more than 59 million inhabitants.

Source: Africanews

The Maravi Post has over one billion views since its inception in December of 2009. Viewed in over 100 countries Follow US: Twitter @maravipost Facebook Page : maravipost Instagram: maravipost    
Maravi Post Reporter
Maravi Post Reporterhttps://www.maravipost.com/
Op-Ed Columnists, Opinion contributors and one submissions are posted under this Author. In our By-lines we still give Credit to the right Author. However we stand by all reports posted by Maravi Post Reporter.
RELATED ARTICLES

1 COMMENT

Comments are closed.

Most Popular

Recent Comments

The History of online Casinos – Agora Poker – hao029 on The History of online Casinos
Five factors that will determine #NigeriaDecides2023 - NEWSCABAL on Leadership Is Difficult Because Governance Is Very Stubborn, By Owei Lakemfa
Asal Usul Texas Holdem Poker – Agora Poker – hao029 on The Origins of Texas Holdem Poker
Malawi has asked Mike Tyson to be its cannabis ambassador - Techio on Malawi lawmaker Chomanika against Mike Tyson’s appointment as Cannabis Brand Ambassador over sex offence
Finley Mbella on Brand Chakwera leaks Part 1
Maria Eduarda Bernardo on The 2021 Guide to Trading Forex Online
Atsogo Kemso, Political Foot Soldier on Why MCP and UTM Alliance Will Fail
Em. Prof. Willem Van Cotthem - Ghent University, Belgium on Malawi army, National bank cover Chilumba barrack with trees
Christopher Murdock on Why dating older woman is dangerous?
Samantha The Hammer on Why dating older woman is dangerous?
Muhindo Isevahani on The Cold War Against TB Joshua
JCON/SCOAN/BKN(888/8885/8808) on The Cold War Against TB Joshua
Keen Observer on Jesse Kabwila, Then and Now
Francesco Sinibaldi on Advertising in 2020 and beyond
VICTORIA NAMENE FILLIPUS on Is TB Joshua not another religious fraudster?
Keen Observer on