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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


MCQUOID-MASON, D J. COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy and missed vaccine rollout targets: The case for using general practitioners. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2022, vol.112, n.3. ISSN 2078-5135.

The South African (SA) government's roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccine is behind its target, largely owing to concerns about the side-effects and the effectiveness of the vaccines, and because they have been developed over a very short time frame. Another factor is a lack of trust in government policies regarding COVID-19 and its running of public health. One survey has indicated that for persons seeking a vaccination, the preferred vaccine site would be general practitioners (GPs). GPs have been used in Australia, the UK and elsewhere. In Australia, with a scattered rural population, 5 600 GPs have been vaccinating over one million patients weekly. Calls have been made by the South African Medical Association, among others, for GPs to be allowed to assist with the government's roll-out programme. If ~8 000 GPs in SA participated in a properly administered roll-out programme, and each GP were to vaccinate only 10 people a day, this would yield 400 000 vaccinations a week or ~1.6 million a month. The GPs could invite their patients and others to visit their room for a COVID-19 vaccination, as they do with the annual influenza vaccine.

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