Vaccinations at the North-West University (NWU) outreach sites in Mahikeng and Potchefstroom are nearing the 10 000 mark. NWU staff, their families and domestic workers, as well as members of the community, have received 9 845 vaccinations since the first vaccination drive started on the weekend of 16 July.
The executive dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Prof Awie Kotze, who oversees the vaccination drive, says everything is running smoothly at the sites. Vaccinations are set to continue this coming weekend, with NWU facilities open at both the Great Hall in Mahikeng (13 and 14 August) and the Dampad Dining Hall in Potchefstroom (14 and 15 August).
“We believe the drive is making a meaningful impact in addressing the Covid-19 pandemic. We are so proud of all the NWU staff, ranging from academics to support staff, and other stakeholders involved in doing volunteer work and encouraging people to get vaccinated. I want to especially highlight the contributions of the staff and students from the Faculty of Health Sciences, who continue to be integral to the drive.”
Prof Awie says it is wonderful to experience the dedication, passion, effectiveness and friendliness of every person involved in this drive. “It is heart-warming to see how many people get vaccinated and to experience the positivity that surrounds every weekend.”
He says the NWU is pleased to continue to provide this essential service to address the needs of the people of South Africa. “The good cooperation with the North West provincial government enables us to provide this service effectively.”
He says that, unfortunately, due to the fact that the Vanderbijlpark Campus is in Gauteng, the agreement could not include this campus, but discussions are still continuing to ensure the possibility of accommodating staff and students on this campus too.
“The outreach facilities offer the perfect opportunity for people to get vaccinated during weekends by trained and qualified volunteers. We continue to receive positive feedback from staff and community members at the sites and on social media. This is why we want to encourage everyone who is eligible to get their vaccinations. It has proven to be effective in fighting severe illness and preventing the admission of Covid-19 patients to intensive care units.”
According to Awie, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be mainly administered at the NWU outreach sites from now on. “I also want to assure everyone who received Pfizer vaccine doses during the first weekends that there are enough doses of this vaccine available for their second jab, which will be administered from the last weekend of August.”
He says they are now preparing for the vaccinations of the 18- to 34-year age group, which will take place from the first weekend in September at the NWU outreach sites. “This group mainly represents our valued student population and we are happy to provide this essential service to them too.”
NWU assists with the implementation of Klerksdorp vaccination site
The NWU is not only making an impact at its campus outreach sites, but also assisted with the implementation of the Jade Square mass vaccination site in Klerksdorp by donating the computers for this site.
This came after the Matlosana Business Chamber and the North West Department of Health had approached the NWU for support in this regard.
Mr Wilhelm van Belkum, director for operations and infrastructure of the NWU’s Information Technology (IT) department, says the IT groups of the NWU’s campuses in Mahikeng and Potchefstroom identified 42 Hewlett Packard personal computers that could be donated for use at the vaccination site.
Showcasing the NWU’s commitment to community involvement, staff of the NWU’s IT department assisted in getting the workstations up and running for the opening of the Klerksdorp vaccination site on 5 August.
The staff of the NWU’s IT department assist with the implementation of workstations at the Klerksdorp vaccination site.