The North West Department of Health has received numerous complaints from members of the public about alleged COVID-19 vaccination drive in our communities. As far as the Department is aware, there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19. Government is still in the process of acquiring vaccine and once it is obtained, the process of rolling it out will be communicated by the Minister of Health.
Earlier today, the Department held a meeting with field workers of an organization by the name of Epic Center who are alleged to be responsible for conducting such a vaccination drive. The field workers deny to be conducting any COVID-19 vaccinations but indicated that they are rather conducting the National COVID-19 antibody study. The National COVID-19 antibody study is commissioned by the National Department of Health but it has nothing to do with COVID-19 vaccination.
Members of public are also advised that the study is voluntary and not compulsory. No one should be coerced or forced to participate in the study. Those willing to participate in the study can do so willingly knowing they are contributing to a national course.
That being said, the North West Department of Health is concerned that protocol was not followed to allow the study to proceed in the Province. Normally, once the National Department has approved a study, a research organization will first come to report to the Provincial Office and the Provincial Office will inform the Districts who must then inform all affected stakeholders. Such protocol will also be preceded by a public communication to make communities aware of any particular study or campaign. In the light of this development, the Department has instructed the supervisor of the study to recall all their field workers from all our districts until proper protocol is followed.
The Department will announce once all protocols have been met to allow the National Antibody Study to proceed again.