Business, labour and the government have reached agreement at Nedlac on workplace Covid-19 vaccine guidelines to ensure workers are encouraged to be vaccinated, and are given paid time off to do so, but cannot be dismissed for declining the jab, reports Business Times.
Some of SA’s largest employers are looking to ramp up the numbers by opening an initial 89 workplace sites that could vaccinate 24,300 people a day. ‘We know that there needs to be sufficient capacity at maximum throughput levels, and by mid-July we need to be vaccinating more than 200,000 people a day as a country,’ said Lungi Nyathi, managing executive for clinical risk and advisory at Medscheme, which is B4SA’s lead on workplace vaccines.
‘To be able to do that we need everybody to come on board so that hospitals, GPs and pharmacies can see sick patients and not just vaccinate … workplace sites will be an important part of that.’ There are already two workplace sites up and running, one in the auto industry and the other at Impala Platinum, with further sites registered or awaiting registration.
However, employers are waiting for clarity from the Department of Health on a model to reimburse private sector providers for the costs of vaccinating people who are not on medical schemes, with many employers wanting to vaccinate their employees’ families and surrounding communities as well. ‘We are almost there on the reimbursement model,’ Nyathi said.