Media statement by KZN Health MEC, Ms Nomagugu Simelane : DA's blatant lies will not derail province's solid COVID-19 vaccine roll-out programme

17 February 2021

We have noted attempts by the DA to hijack, distort and misrepresent our plans for the COVID-19 vaccination roll-out programme in the province.

This is a typical DA modus operandi: creating a smokescreen and telling blatant lies in a desperate bid to grab the media headlines.

This time, they have shamefully tried to steal the limelight ahead of our official launch of the vaccination programme tomorrow.

Contrary to the lies being peddled by the DA, we did not "block" any healthcare workers from being vaccinated today.

We have always said that our vaccinations will start a day or two after the National Department of Health. This is to ensure that the process goes off smoothly.

That is why our properly planned-for launch will be conducted tomorrow, with the Premier.

Caprisa Centre For The Aids Programme Of Research In South Africa (CAPRISA) and the Medical Research Council requested to have a "dry-run" of the process today, which has been granted.

So, the grandstanding by the DA is really unnecessary, and once again exposes a shallow, desperate and self-serving party that will stop at nothing to associated itself with a process that has absolutely nothing to do with it.

We are not a Banana republic, where things are done in an un-co-ordinated and haphazard manner.

We have a solid and clear plan to launch the vaccination programme tomorrow, and have issued a formal invitation to the media in this regard.

At this media briefing, all the pertinent details will be revealed, including, among others, how the vaccine will be distributed; who will be prioritised; and how we will ensure that the vaccine reaches all individuals who qualify to be vaccinated.

We will not bow to any pressure from the DA, or from any other supposed stakeholder or pressure group, who want to pursue an agenda that seeks to serve them and not the people of KwaZulu-Natal.

We also want to caution staff who want to get ahead of internal processes, or those who leak false information to the media, that such conduct will not be tolerated.

Lastly, we urge media practitioners not to allow themselves to be used as pawns in the DA’s sinister misinformation campaign.

ENDS Issued on behalf of KZN Health MEC Ms Nomagugu Simelane

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This page last edited on 18 February, 2021

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