Watch: Chaos unfolds at teachers’ vaccination site

Teachers and staff members can be seen in the video forcefully trying to enter the vaccination premises.

The Department of Health in the Free State has appealed for calmness, this after chaos broke out this morning at the official launch of the vaccination of the provincial vaccination of teachers and non-teaching staff campaign at Gonyane Primary School in Bloemfontein.

Members of the public who showed up in their numbers are blaming parties for poor planning and being “very disorganised”.  This resulted in chaos when a so called “stampede” took place where teachers and teaching staff could be seen scuffling around to enter the premises.

Spokesperson for Free State Department of Health, Mondli Mvambi, told Bloemfontein Courant in an interview that more people turned up this morning than expected. “It seems as if somebody had told them they would only be vaccinated today. So it was a do or die moment for them, which shows the eagerness for getting the vaccine among people. We have communicated to all that the vaccination will take place over 5 to 10 days,” said Mvambi.

According to him, the department realised that there were more people than scheduled and in return gave the assurance that everything would be done from the department’s side to help everybody there. Mvambi said the department called out to members that there was no need to damage any property.

“People starting pushing, causing possible harm and disrupting the principals of social distancing. This resulted in chaos, which was completely unnecessary,” Mvambi added.

The department has since appealed for calm as it is not turning anyone back and making sure that those at the site are vaccinated.

“Our healthcare workers have been willing to be here overtime to make sure that the last person is vaccinated. Going forward we realise that we had a soft security approach. We had to get out volunteers inside the venue just to make sure we protect our environment inside. We understand the apprehension and anxiety amongst our educators and for that we forgive them. We are not their enemies and we are not denying them a chance and opportunity to get vaccinated. But it must be done orderly. People must learn to be patient and take personal responsibility to make sure that they do not add fuel to the fire,” concluded Mvambi.

This is a developing story.

Pierce van Heerden