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Why I am waiting to vaccinate against COVID-19

(PS: It’s not what you think!)

Currently, the world’s #covid_19 #vaccine supply and distribution can’t keep up with the demand. It’s estimated that only 1 in 10 people from poor countries will be vaccinated by the end of 2021.

We are making tough decisions on who to prioritize. In South Africa, our rollout strategy is tiered in order to have an equitable approach to distribution of this finite resource in our population. As a social justice and health equity advocate, I support this approach because the only distinguishing factor is an individual’s risk of contracting #covid_19 or developing serious complications from it. Your social standing, bank balance or any other factor is 👏🏽 not 👏🏽 relevant👏🏽


I am a Dr and registered with the HPCSA, but I actually only fall under category 3. I’m no longer working in clinical medicine. I’m no longer on the frontline seeing patients. In fact, the only people I see regularly is my wife, son (aka personal assistant, a job he takes super seriously 🥰) and my cat as I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home.


It’s troubling for me to be asked “why don’t you just pretend you do GP shifts over the weekends” (which would make me eligible in phase 1)


The truth is though I don’t.


I may only represent a small number of people who can deceive their way to the top of the vaccine queue right now, but more loopholes like these will appear as the rollout expands.


We need to hold others and ourselves accountable for our actions and recognize that any deceit is actually a deceit to all of us. We need to promote equity in vaccine rollout and protect the vulnerable first.


Side note - a lot has been made of health admin staff or cleaners getting vaccinated in phase 1. These hard-working colleagues are actually healthcare workers. A healthcare worker is ‘anyone involved with the provision of health’. They are at risk by virtue of being in a health setting. Let’s not allow our class prejudices to come to the fore here 💯


Side note 2 - I’m 100% unequivocally pro-vaccination. When my time comes, I will take it 💯

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