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90% of Gold Fields' South Deep workforce receive first dose of Covid-19 vaccine - Mining News

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Gold Fields' South Deep Gold Mine has announced that 90.3% of its workforce have to date received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, while 75.5% have been fully vaccinated as part of the mine's Covid-19 VacciNation programme.

Dr Khutso Setati, Occupational Medical Practitioner at South Deep, notes: "We have seen a visible and positive correlation between our vaccination statistics and the number of new infections. Since the roll-out of the VacciNation programme, new infections have decreased from a high of 28% in mid-July, to an average of 1.0% since the beginning of September.

"We have also observed that the severity of Covid-19 cases have reduced considerably. During the peak of the third wave, between two to three employees who tested positive for Covid-19 were in hospital at any given point.  But during August only one employee was admitted for observation and there have been no new admissions since.

"These results clearly indicate that receiving the vaccine, even if it's just one dose, significantly reduces the likelihood of contracting Covid-19 as well as the severity of the illness should a person contract the virus," said Dr Setati.

South Deep encourages employees and communities to remain vigilant in applying preventative measures such as washing and sanitising hands, wearing masks properly and practicing social distancing.

Martin Preece, Executive Vice President: South Africa for Gold Fields, explained that in the past three months, absenteeism as a result of Covid-19 has decreased from 284 employees in June to nine in September. "It is evident that the VacciNation programme has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on our mine as operations have returned to normal."

"This is good for safety, our people and our business. We are extremely proud and grateful that so many of our people made the decision to get vaccinated and we encourage those who have yet to be vaccinated to do the same," he said.

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