South African rollout lays bare vaccine  struggle in developing ...

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South African rollout lays bare vaccine  struggle in developing world

How the campaign goes in places such as Nqileni will have an impact on vaccination drives everywhere

Joseph Cotterill

In a remote South African village, set in windswept hills not far from the Indian Ocean, Nolindele Mdibanto fears she will never get the Covid-19 vaccine.

The nearest government clinic to Nqileni, deep in the rural Eastern Cape, lies several kilometres beyond a river and over hilly terrain. Despite daily hikes to fetch firewood and water for her thatched one-room home, the prospect of a long trek unnerves the Xhosa elder.

“Now I’m too old, and it’s not easy to walk,” said Mdibanto, who is in her 80s and says she successfully “kicked away” a mild Covid-19 infection during a recent outbreak. “They say it’s coming, but it will take a long time, or it will never come.”..

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