University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) students, alumni and their families and friends can now receive their COVID-19 vaccinations on the Wits main campus, thanks to a partnership between the University and the Netcare Group.
“It is a top health priority to ensure that everyone has easy access to the COVID-19 vaccine, which remains our best protection against this deadly virus,” says Mande Toubkin, general manager: emergency, trauma, transplant and corporate social investment at Netcare.
For at least the next three weeks until 23 September, the COVID-19 vaccination team from Netcare Milpark Hospital in collaboration with Professor Shabir Madhi, dean of the Wits Faculty of Health Sciences, will assist students from the university, staff, their families and others to receive their vaccines conveniently on campus.
The vaccination site opened on Monday, 6 September, in the Old Mutual Sports Hall at 1 Yale Road, Braamfontein, on the Main Campus of Wits University. The first in line to be vaccinated at the new site was the Wits student representative council (SRC) president, Mpendulo Mfeka, who was vaccinated by Prof Madhi himself.
|Pic: (Photo credit: Wits University) A ‘pop up’ vaccination site has opened on the main campus of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) supported by the Netcare Milpark Hospital vaccination team. Proudly vaccinated and pictured at the launch of the site, which will operate until at least 23 September, are (left to right) Jerome September, dean of Wits student affairs; Mpendulo Mfeka, president of the Wits Student Representative Council (SRC) and first to be vaccinated at the new site; Professor Shabir Madhi, dean of the Wits Faculty of Health Sciences; Jacques du Plessis, managing director of Netcare’s hospital division, and Scott Smalley, academic head of Wits clinical associate division and chair of the COVID-19 logistics team.
There is no charge for people who are not on medical aid, and the vaccination will not affect the day-to-day benefit for those with medical aid. The site administers the Pfizer vaccine and is open on weekdays from 08:00 to 15:00. Those wishing to vaccinate simply need to bring their ID document or passport, and will be assisted to register their details on the electronic vaccination data system [EVDS] if they have not already done so.
Jacques Du Plessis, managing director of Netcare’s hospital division, thanked Prof Madhi and the University on behalf of Netcare for the opportunity to bring vaccinations to the Wits community. “I’m appealing to everyone, in your families and in your communities, bring your mother and father, your sister and your friends, and helpers at home, so that they can be protected. Please make the most of this opportunity for vaccination,” Du Plessis says.
This is another Netcare vaccination “pop-up” site and has initial capacity to vaccinate some 200 persons per day, which can be scaled up to meet demand as needed, answering the Department of Health [NDoH] and Business for South Africa’s [B4SA] call to bring the vaccine to the people. This adds to the four established Netcare Vaccination sites at Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, Netcare Lakeview Hospital in Benoni, Johannesburg, Netcare St Augustine’s Hospital, in Durban, and Old Mutual Park in Pinelands, Cape Town, which together are able to vaccinate 5000 people daily, Monday to Friday.
To date, Netcare has vaccinated more than 150 000 people including 33 000 healthcare workers at Netcare. An additional 22 Medicross vaccination sites are anticipated to further bolster the national vaccination rollout soon.
Prof Madhi encouraged the University’s 40 000 students to be vaccinated, as this not only reduces the chance of being infected and suffering serious illness but also of transmitting the virus to others. “The only sustainable manner in which we will be able to get back to a normal lifestyle is to ensure you can protect people, not necessarily only against getting infected, but most importantly to prevent people from developing severe disease and dying from COVID-19. The only thing that is available to us to achieve that goal is vaccines, despite what others might say on social media,” Prof Madhi said.
Toubkin expressed appreciation to Wits’ academic head of the emergency medicine division, Professor Feroza Motara, and academic head of the clinical associate division and chair of the COVID-19 logistics team, Scott Smalley, for their roles in bringing the initiative to fruition. “Thanks to the support of Prof Madhi, what was initially planned as a once off vaccination day has now turned into a three week campaign that will enable thousands of students and others in the Wits community to have this life-saving vaccine,” she adds.
“Many students and university staff have already made use of the COVID-19 vaccination site at Netcare Milpark Hospital. This new initiative brings vaccination even closer, making it more convenient than ever for those studying or working at Wits to be protected as far as possible against COVID-19,” Toubkin says.
“Although the vaccine is highly effective, it is still important to adhere to COVID-19 precautions including maintaining social distancing, wearing a mask, practising proper hand hygiene and avoiding crowded, poorly ventilated places. The more people who are vaccinated, the greater the level of protection in our communities and in our country will be, which could save many thousands of lives.”
Looking for a medical appointment? Netcare appointmed™ will make appointments for YOU with specialists practising at Netcare hospitals, GPs and dentists at Medicross medical and dental centres, and specialists at Akeso mental health facilities. Simply request an appointment online at www.netcare.co.za/Request-a-medical-appointment or phone Netcare appointmed™ on 0860 555 565, Mondays to Fridays between 08:00 and 17:00.
To find out more about the services offered through Netcare hospitals and other of the Group’s facilities, please visit www.netcare.co.za or contact the Netcare customer service centre either by email at [email protected] or phone 0860 NETCARE (0860 638 2273). Note that the centre operates Mondays to Fridays from 08:00 to 16:00.
For more information on this media release, contact MNA at the contact details listed below.
Issued by: MNA on behalf of Netcare Milpark Hospital
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, Estene Lotriet-Vorster or Clemmy Forsthofer
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]