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Minerals Council intensifies vaccination effort

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Close-up, hands wearing blue PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) gloves are filling a syring with a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) vaccine on January 15, 2021.

The Minerals Council South Africa and its members are aligned with the government’s Vooma Vaccination drive and will intensify ongoing efforts by launching a focussed campaign from 18 to 22 October.

The Minerals Council Board has set a target of 80% of the industry’s 450,000 employees be partially vaccinated by the end of October, and that 80% be fully vaccinated by mid-December.

As of last week, 232,606employees and contractors of Minerals Council member companies had been fully or partially vaccinated, representing around half of the overall workforce.

“The industry started planning for vaccinations in February 2021. In close co-operation with the Department of Health (DoH) and Business Unity South Africa (Busa), a first pilot site began operating in May, and since then 52 vaccination sites have come on stream. Now is the time to switch up into another gear,” says Minerals Council CEO Roger Baxter.

The industry’s four main recognised trade unions – AMCU, the NUM, Solidarity and UASA – have played a critical role in supporting vaccination efforts, as have the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and the DoH.

The mining industry’s  Vooma Vaccination Week will involve intensified vaccination initiatives, including addressing concerns expressed by some workers about volunteering to be vaccinated, enhancing opportunities in various ways to access vaccinations, and they will include encouragement by senior union and management executives.

The industry’s Vooma Vaccination campaign will assure employees about the efficacy, safety and protective nature of the vaccines, and the fact that being vaccinated both enables individuals to live with fewer restraints and is a service to their families and friends, and the communities and the country in which we live. Being fully vaccinated, employees will qualify for the government-issued vaccination certificate ahead of going home for their year-end holiday. The certificate will be used for travel and tourism, sport and recreational events, music festivals, and shops that are providing discounts and prizes for people who are fully vaccinated.

The Minerals Council will issue further information on the Vooma campaign as it proceeds.

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