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King, PM, go mute because of missing speech


Ntsoaki Motaung

Minister of Health Semano Sekatle had to step-up and take the stand ahead of his leaders at the event of launch of the national Covid-19 vaccination initiative at the Scott Hospital in Morija as the King and the Prime-Minister’s written speeches were missing.

Sekatle said it was disappointing that persons of his principals could not address the event because their presentations were unavailable.

“I am disappointed to find out that the speech that His Majesty the King was supposed to deliver here has been delayed. I am equally disappointed to learn that the Prime Minister will also not make a speech,” he said.

Usually pre-written addresses are what most senior personnel use in order to channel their presentations.

The speeches are often written staff officials who are in the know of what policy points should be addressed.

As a matter of hierarchy, a minister cannot make an address in the presence of his superiors save to make a precursory curtain-raiser.

However, Sekatle expressed gratitude to the King and the Royal family for honouring the Prime Minister’s request to have them lead the nation in the vaccination process.    

“I would like also to clarify to the public the importance of the AstraZeneca vaccine as found by Professors of the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, who have reiterated the safety of using the AstraZeneca vaccine in the vaccination program against Covid-19 as it is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO),” he said.

Sekatle also indicated that the findings revealed that the AstraZeneca Vaccine is similar to the Johnson and Johnson vaccine and therefore there is no reason for the government not to use it.

“The two vaccines are very similar in terms of the technology that has been used. So it is important to understand the vaccine will not prevent one from getting the disease but what is important is to know that it will protect against severe illness or death,” he said.

Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the hospital management, Sister ‘Mannete Rapholo a nurse at Scott Hospital reiterated the minister’s views on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine which she said limits the chances of one getting severely ill or dying.

“Each person is going to get two doses of the vaccine. He or she will get vaccinated for the first time and for the second time after 12weeks. One can only have some pain on the arm after vaccinating, many experience fever or feel exhausted after vaccination and that is why the person is advised to rest at least 15 minutes after vaccination for observation,” she said.

Rapholo stated that even after vaccination people are still advised to adhere to the health protocols by the ministry of health as well as WHO.

On the other hand, one of the Village Health Workers ‘Malerato Mohlakola said they are very happy to be of the people that will receive vaccination first as that will help make their work easy.

“Even though we are still advised to adhere to the health protocols after vaccination, but at least we have an added protection. We are pleased it has been launched at our hospital because we were the most affected hospital. After this we will be in a good position to advise our patients also to get the vaccine so that all can continue with their normal lives,” she said.                 

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