• Pop-up vaccination sites will be deployed at 1,000 voting centres on 1 November, when South Africans vote in the municipal elections.
  • Healthcare workers operating these sites have a chance to be rewarded for their efforts.
  • Nando’s is offering R500,000 worth of vouchers to the vaccination teams which manage to administer the most jabs on election day.
  • A thousand vouchers, worth R500 each, will be awarded to each member of the 15 best-performing teams in each province.

Vaccination teams which administer the most jabs on voting day will be rewarded with Nando’s vouchers to the value of R500,000.

More than 26 million people are registered to vote in the municipal elections on Monday, amid the Covid-19 pandemic. This presents problems – and opportunities.

Fear that the elections and political campaigning in the run-up could act as super spreader events, hastening the arrival of a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections, is not unfounded. Health Minister Joe Phaahla reiterated the risks of mass gatherings around election day during his latest media briefing.

The elections also coincide with the country’s stuttering Covid-19 vaccine rollout. South Africa had initially hoped to vaccinate 70% of the population – representing some 40 million people – by the end of 2021. By Friday, more than seven months after the rollout first began, 12.1 million adults had been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

To combat vaccine hesitancy, the national health department, in collaboration with other arms of government and private partners, has embarked on an incentive programme. Overlapping with the incentives, like fully vaccinated fans being able to access stadiums, is the plan to make vaccines more accessible.

Campaigns like the Vooma Vaccination Weekend at the start of October, which opened more sites and enlisted community leaders and faith-based organisations to encourage their followers to get vaccinated, is an example of the nationwide push.

The upcoming municipal elections have also been co-opted into the vaccination rollout. Pop up vaccination sites will be deployed at 1,000 voting centres across the country, “targeting mainly areas where the uptake of vaccination has been low” said Phaahla on Friday.

“Once a person has voted they can then proceed to the pop-up site to be registered and vaccinated. To make it even more convenient to have one trip, priority will be given to the use of the J&J [Johnson & Johnson] vaccine, which is a one dose, but Pfizer will be available if an individual prefers it, or they are due for second dose.”

And while vaccine-related awards have usually been aimed at the general population, healthcare workers manning these pop-up vaccination sites on election day will be rewarded for volunteering “to be on duty”.

Nando’s, famous for its flame-grilled peri-peri style chicken, is offering R500,000 in food vouchers to the best-performing vaccination teams on the day. A thousand vouchers – worth R500 each – will be awarded to members of the 15 best-performing teams in each province. Each member of the 135 winning teams will receive a voucher.

“We are going to be identifying 15 teams in each province with the highest number of vaccinations and each member of these 15 teams, whether a vaccinator or a support person, are going to receive this R500 voucher,” Gaurang Tanna, policy co-ordination and integrated planning at the national department of health, said on Friday.

“Further mechanics of this will be explained to the provinces of how this will work, and we will publish the results of these sites.”

Tanna added that the vouchers would be awarded after voting day, once the final tally of jabs administered on 1 November had been properly counted.

“We appreciate this gesture and hope other businesses will come forward to offer more products in appreciation of our hard-working health workers,” said Phaahla.

(Compiled by Luke Daniel)

this article was originally published at: https://www.businessinsider.co.za/free-nandos-chicken-for-vaccine-workers-on-election-day-2021-10