A total of 267 nursing students are to be added as vaccinators through collaboration with the University of the Western Cape and the provincial health department.
A total of 267 nursing students are to be added as vaccinators through collaboration with the University of the Western Cape and the provincial health department.

A boost in vaccine rollout with UWC nursing students added as vaccinators

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Jun 9, 2021

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Cape Town - In a bid to speed up its Covid-19 vaccine rollout, the provincial health department, in collaboration with the University of the Western Cape (UWC), will add over 200 trained nursing students as Covid-19 vaccinators.

Premier Alan Winde with UWC management welcomed 267 final-year nursing students to the provincial government’s response against Covid-19 at the Hazendal Wine Estate, Stellenbosch, on Tuesday.

Although having received prior training, the health department will supplement this with more training. The students will be working-full time at vaccination sites in the Cape Winelands including Stellenbosch, Paarl and Wellington, as well as Khayelitsha east and northern Tygerberg in the Cape Metro.

“During their formal placements at vaccine sites, these students will be split into two groups and the first cohort of 134 vaccinators are expected to be in the field from June 17. The nursing students will be able to put their skills into practice during their mid-year break as part of their clinical placement,” said Winde.

As of June 2, the Western Cape’s vaccinator database identified 5 208 vaccinators, with 3 297 having received training.

Donovan du Plooy said: “It is a privilege to be part of a group of final-year nursing students who will join the vaccination rollout campaign in South Africa. It is an urgent and equally important part of the country’s response to the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. This will ensure that we get our communities vaccinated and it is important to acquire herd immunity.”

All students taking part have consented to being vaccinators, said UWC spokesperson Gasant Abarder.

“Students will be supported via the UWC clinical supervisors and the staff per facility where they will be placed. DOH in the Western Cape has undertaken to fully support the students who will be assisting with this essential task of supplying vaccines to as many people as possible.

“The students will also be part of a WhatsApp group with their own clinical supervisors from UWC, so that they can be assisted in any way required.”

The students will be assisting the department during the mid-year break with each group working for one month.

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