The vaccination drive started on Friday, 16 July, and continued over the weekend in the Great Hall in Mahikeng and the Dampad Dining Hall in Potchefstroom. These sites were identified as vaccination outreach sites by the North West provincial government.
Since the start of the initiative, more than 8 000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines were administered at the sites on our campuses in Mahikeng and Potchefstroom.
Unfortunately, as the Vanderbijlpark Campus is in Gauteng, the agreement could not include this campus, but staff members and their families who travelled to Potchefstroom were accommodated at the site.
The vaccinations were originally only aimed at registered NWU staff, their families and domestic workers, but as information spread by word-of-mouth and social media, many members of the public who were registered to receive vaccinations also lined up.
The drive was such a resounding success that more dates were added to the vaccination schedule ― 6 to 7 August in Mahikeng and 7 to 8 August in Potchefstroom. Additional dates may be communicated soon.
Loads of positive feedback
Prof Awie Kotze, dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, who oversaw the vaccination drive, says they have received positive feedback from staff and community members at the sites, as well as on social media.
“It was wonderful to experience the passion, effectiveness and friendliness of every person involved in this drive. It was heart-warming to see how many people came to be vaccinated and to experience the positivity that surrounded the whole weekend,” he said, referring to the first vaccination weekend.
“It is very hard work to vaccinate people in high numbers, and it takes absolute dedication from everyone involved. We are very proud of all involved in the drive.”
He says the NWU could in a relatively short time provide this essential service in addressing the needs of South Africa. “The good cooperation with the North West provincial government enabled us to provide this service effectively.”
Part of a bigger network
Awie says the NWU’s sites are part of seven mass vaccination sites identified in the province. “We opened the first sites, and representatives from other sites visited the NWU to see how we are doing it. Other sites will include Klerksdorp and Rustenburg.”
Prof Dan Kgwadi, vice-chancellor, thanked all the NWU staff, students and stakeholders who volunteered and worked at the sites.
“We as the NWU family are proud of the great work that was done to ensure that everyone who qualified received their vaccinations. With this much dedication and effectiveness, we make a big contribution in addressing the pandemic.”
He says the NWU family’s hard work during the vaccination drive is an example of the university’s ethic of care and deep commitment to community involvement.
NWU family makes vaccination drive extra special
The positive spirit that surrounded the vaccination drive included many heartening initiatives.
This included the office of the NWU’s mascot, Eagi, delivering more than 30 blankets to keep volunteers warm, and the Thuso Covid-19 Compliance Buddies under the guidance of Juan-Ri Potgieter doing their part as friendly and effective marshals.
A special childminding service was also one of the highlights where parents could leave their children in the safe care of social work and psychology student volunteers while they had their vaccinations.
Members of the community also made contributions as part of celebrating Mandela Day. This included Fruit Hub donating boxes of fruit as a thank you gesture to workers at the vaccination site in Mahikeng.
“It is very important to be vaccinated against Covid-19. We are working towards similar projects for NWU staff and members of the public to be vaccinated at the outreach sites. We will communicate more information in this regard,” says Awie.
30 blankets donated to volunteers
Fruit boxes donated to volunteers
Friendly marshals to ensure compliance
Free childminding and safe care
Vice-chancellor Prof Dan Kgwadi and Eagi say it is important to get vaccinated.
process at NWU outreach sites is a resounding success
The Covid-19 vaccination drive in South Africa received a boost with thousands of members of the public, including our NWU staff, their spouses and life partners receiving their vaccinations at two NWU outreach sites.
Click on the above image to watch a video of the vaccination drive.
Donations received and services offered