Industry organisation the Minerals Council South Africa has urged employees over the age of 60 to register for the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccine roll-out that is due to start on May 17.
It further appeals to all employees to assist their family members, neighbours and friends over the age of 60 to register to receive the vaccine.
While there are only about 6 000 industry employees over the age of 60, almost everyone will live with or know someone older than 60, the council posits.
It emphasises the importance of those over 60 getting vaccinated, owing to this demographic being especially vulnerable, and three times more likely to be hospitalised and 15 times more likely to die owing to complications related to the virus, than those under the age of 40.
Minerals Council health head Dr Thuthula Balfour says the industry achieved a 90% tuberculosis screening rate in the past and will do its best to vaccinate as many people for Covid-19 as possible, to achieve similar rates.
“It is an ambitious target, but would contribute significantly to better immunity in mining communities across the country,” she notes.
Vaccinations will be administered free of charge to all citizens, with medical aids expected to cover the cost of about seven-million members and the State absorbing the balance.
The council notes that many mining companies have indicated that they will support community vaccinations in line with national priorities.