North West health officials suspended after black patients 'denied' Covid-19 vaccines

The trio were accused of reserving doses of vaccines for friends and family.
The trio were accused of reserving doses of vaccines for friends and family.
Image: 123RF/Weerayut Ranmai

The North West health department has suspended three officials in Delareyville for allegedly denying black community members Covid-19 vaccines and reserving them for friends and family instead.

The white officials were suspended after a tip-off from staff and complaints from the community that had racial connotations.

The department said in a statement that the suspension follows allegations that the officials denied access to vaccinations for some members of the community.

“It is alleged that they turned some of the members of the community away on several occasions, saying there are no vaccines, and after community members went back to their homes, they called those favoured into private offices to administer vaccines.

“The allegations have racial connotations as it is alleged that the white managers reserved vaccines for their white families and friends and told black community members that there are no vaccines,” the department said.

The department appointed an official to investigate the matter and added that the three had not been found guilty as an investigation was required, followed by disciplinary proceedings if necessary.

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