Ford South Africa has continued contributing to the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic by opening specialised Vaccination Clinics at both of its local manufacturing plants, with cooperation and approval from the National Department of Health (NDOH).
The clinic at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria opened in June 2021, and was the second workplace vaccination site to receive NDOH authorisation, giving employees and on-site contractors convenient access to vaccinations in line with government guidelines and age groups, regardless of their medical aid status.
To date, over 3 600 Pfizer vaccines have been administered at the Silverton Assembly Plant, with more than 1 200 employees and contractors having received their second doses. This project is now being rolled out to the Ford Struandale Engine Plant in Gqeberha.
“The vaccination drive and the establishment of the Vaccination Clinics have enabled us to assist government’s efforts in tackling the pandemic through the workplace vaccination programme,” says Dhiren Vanmali who headed up Ford’s Government Affairs Department before assuming a new role as Sales Operations Director in June 2021.
“Our vaccination numbers are expected to increase significantly with the approval granted for the opening of the Vaccination Clinic at the Struandale Engine Plant and with the age groups now having been opened for 18-year-olds and above,” explains Ford’s Occupational Medical Practitioner, Dr Herina Grobler.
“As the availability of the vaccine improves, we will see these numbers increase further as we extend our vaccinations to include our Ford dealers and suppliers too. We are also working closely with the NDOH to ultimately make the vaccination services available to dependants of employees as part of the community to ensure that we maximise our reach in fighting this pandemic,” Dr Grobler says.
Ford South Africa’s relief measures during this unprecedented health crisis began in April 2020 during the Level 5 national lockdown, when it commenced production of protective face shields at the Silverton Assembly Plant to enhance the safety of frontline medical workers.
Over 285 000 face shields were produced, the majority of which were donated to the NDOH and to numerous hospitals, clinics and humanitarian organisations to support their crucial work. Vehicles were lent to several non-profit organisations, and Ford Fund grants were provided to equip communities with essential goods, including food parcels, sanitisers and face masks.
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