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DoH does a U-turn on vaccines for politicians and their staff

The Department of Health has done a complete U-turn on a circular giving permission for politicians and their staff, diplomats and people travelling out of SA for work or school, a special dispensation to be vaccinated, reports IOL.

According to IOL, the notice, signed by director-general Dr Sandile Buthelezi, had attempted to give the green light for COVID-19 vaccinations for ministers and their deputies, MECs, premiers and their staff, as well as people travelling outside the country for work, school and sports, and other special interest groups.

An outraged public calling for the circular to be withdrawn flooded social media on Tuesday morning. The calls reached the department and on Tuesday afternoon, Buthelezi announced that the notice had been retracted

“Following the circular on the vaccination of special groups and individuals against Covid-19, there have been numerous comments, queries and submissions that indicate that the circular is unclear in its intentions," he told provincial health heads, district managers, vaccine programme managers, vaccine site managers and vaccinators.

And taking to social media, acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Nkhensani-Kubayi reiterated that the inter-ministerial committee on vaccines had not authorised the circular.

“This was not authorised by IMC on a vaccine which is the final decider on the target population. I have consistently maintained that I will vaccinate when my age group population is opened, this the stance by many of my colleagues. The circular has been withdrawn,” she said.

The original intention of the circular was also to allow for the vaccination of people who had received a single dose of the Pfizer vaccine outside the country, and would have allowed them to get their second dose in South Africa.


IOL story – SA reacts with relief as Health Department does swift U-turn on vaccines for politicians and their staff (Open access)


See more from MedicalBrief archives:


Jabs for politicians: A counter to vaccine hesitancy or opportunism?

New director-general of Health Department has a controversial past


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