PRESS RELEASE: SAPTU thanks government for acquiring vaccines for NHLS members

SAPTU wishes to thank the government and the Department of Health for acquiring vaccines against COVID-19 and making it available to frontline workers first.

The country’s first consignment of COVID-19 vaccines, consisting of one million doses of the Covishield vaccine produced by the Serum Institute in India, arrived at OR Tambo International Airport yesterday. Last night, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed that all healthcare workers in public and private sectors would be prioritised for vaccination under the phased rollout strategy.

“Our members at the National Health Laboratory Service or NHLS work on the frontline to ensure COVID-19 tests are processed efficiently,” says Adv. Ben van der Walt, the general secretary of SAPTU (South African Parastatals and Tertiary Institutions Union). “A cumulative total of tests conducted to date is 8 300 749. And more than 32 000 health workers contracted the virus in 2020.”

The health of members is of the utmost importance. Pres. Ramaphosa reiterated that no-one would be forced to have a vaccination. Still, SAPTU wants to caution all health workers to be responsible when deciding if they will agree to be vaccinated.

Issued by:                  SAPTU
Date:                           2 February 2021

Enquiries:                  Adv Ben van der Walt, General Secretary SAPTU                                           Email: