Supporting the elderly to get access to COVID-19 vaccines!
Western Cape, South Africa (01 June 2021) – Andrew Francis (42) with the help of his mother has made efforts to volunteer signing up and informing the elderly on COVID-19 vaccines.
The Coronavirus, since 2020, has caused a lot of disruption to all aspects of life ranging from social to economic. Globally about 12,000 people are tragically losing the battle against the virus weekly. Businesses suspended their operations and many people lost their jobs; the country’s economies are at a steep hill.
Vaccination started weeks ago and up to now, a significant number of people have received the jab.
Due to their vulnerability to the disease, the government chose to start the vaccination process with the elderly. However, some of the people are having difficulties registering for their vaccine.
Francis says that after hearing that the over-60s were eligible to receive the dose, he asked his mother, who is in her late 60s to get together people who would need help.
“In 45 minutes I found 30 people,” says Francis.
Making time to help
Francis then told the group that he would make time so as to help sign up the over-60s. He offered to distribute messages on their WhatsApp groups and the community WhatsApp channels.
The elderlies concurred with him without a flinch of doubt. Francis says that since then, for about five weeks now, he has been spending his Thursdays signing up the elderly for the dose.
“I spend the time chatting with them, telling them about the vaccine and informing them. Since I received my jab a couple of weeks ago, I share my experience with them,” he says.
Francis works for a charity called Palliative Care Association of South Africa (PALPRAC), His job deals with providing medical care to persons with extreme medical conditions. PALPRAC is staffed by a specially-trained team of doctors, nurses and other specialists who work together with a patient’s other doctors to provide an extra layer of support.
As a healthcare worker and due to his constant contact with this delicate group, he was able to receive his jab as part of the first phase of the vaccination rollout.
Happy to help
Francis says that he gets satisfaction helping others, however small it might seem.
He is enjoying the connections he is getting with them as they stay in homes for the elderly which isolates them from society. He shared a heartwarming encouragement for all to always be ready to lend a helping hand to those in need.
He says, “The only thing more contagious than COVID is caring.”
The-Villiersdorp-man has led as an example to many who would like to help without expecting something in return.
Solidarity Fund calls on those 60 years and older to register for the COVID-19 vaccine
The Solidarity Fund joins government and the medical fraternity for the second phase of the vaccination drive which kicked off on the 17th May 2021, to encourage those who are 60 years and older, to register to be vaccinated.
The selected demographic accounts for almost 60% of all reported COVID-19 related deaths in South Africa, according to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.
The second phase of South Africa’s vaccination programme comes amidst concerns that the third wave of the pandemic is imminent in the country.
“In light of this, it is important that as many eligible people as possible are vaccinated against the virus since vaccines have been shown to protect people from serious illness and death,” the Fund said in a statement.
Speaking on behalf of the Solidarity Fund, Co-Lead of the Health Pillar, Dr Gugu Ngubane, said:
“This will be the largest immunisation programme undertaken in South Africa to date, and as reported by the Minister of Health, Dr Zweli Mkhize, it is estimated that 40,000 deaths will be prevented by vaccinating 5.5 million people older than 60”.
For more information on the benefits and facts about the COVID-19 vaccine, please check out the Solidarity Fund by clicking here.
Sources: The Solidarity Fund | Interview with Andrew
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