The Eastern Cape province has recorded 98 cases of COVID-19 infections among health workers who have been inoculated since the vaccination programme started in February.
According to the Department of Health Spokesperson, Sizwe Kupelo, of the 98, only five have been hospitalised with Covid-19.
“Five of 98 have been hospitalised with most having fully recovered and discharged. As of July 16, only two health workers were yet to be discharged.”
He said some health workers have succumbed to COVID-19 complications since the roll-out of the vaccine started in February.
“But none of those had received the jab as they opted to use their democratic right of not being vaccinated for different reasons.”
He furthermore said the Department is actively tracking and monitoring COVID-19 infections among health workers who have been vaccinated.
This comes as the Department on Saturday slammed media reports stating 59 health workers who have received the COVID-19 vaccine have been hospitalised.
“It cannot be further from the truth as only five health workers have been hospitalised after being vaccinated.
“Such misleading news reports cause unnecessary panic in a society where the government is also dispelling conspiracy theories peddled by anti-vaxxers. Such fake news is creating alarm and should be condemned as they harm the government’s vaccination programme. “
According to Kupelo, the Department circulates its daily epidemiological report to all Stakeholders, including all media houses.
“This is done not only because of transparency but to ensure that media houses report accurately instead of relying on faceless people.”
MEC Nomakhosazana Meth called for more responsible journalism.
“Vaccination is a sensitive matter as we are already dealing with people who manufacture and spread fake news about the vaccine.
“We have always been upfront that scientists have found that being vaccinated does not mean you will not contract COVID-19 but should you do, you are not likely to be hospitalised as people only have mild symptoms.”
According to Meth, data that they have at the moment proves that the vaccination programme is effective in preventing severe infection and hospitalisation from COVID-19 infection.
“This means the sooner more people get the jab, the better they will be fully protected against the virus.
“This is why we have decided to open vaccination sites even on weekends as we ramp up our efforts so that we can inoculate at least 4.5-million in order to achieve herd immunity.”