Call for vigilance as Covid-19 infections in the Western Cape are quick on the rise
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Cape Town –The Western Cape government said it is eager and ready to scale-up the vaccine roll-out again when more vaccines arrive.
During the weekly digicon, Premier Alan Winde and provincial head of health Dr Keith Cloete highlighted that Covid-19 infections are accelerating in the Western Cape and that residents urgently need to adhere to lifesaving methods of behaviour to slow the spread the pandemic.
Cloete said that the province is currently experiencing a shortage of vaccines, which is affecting the rollout plan. As a result this means the province has not been able to reach its target of 120 000 vaccinations a week by now.
This follows the announcement by the US Food and Drug Association (FDA) that 60 million doses of Johnson and Johnson (J&J) would be discarded, and the subsequent announcement by South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) that 2 million of the doses from the Aspen Plant in Gqeberha would also be discarded.
“Despite this delay, we have not wasted a moment of time in preparing our systems for a mass roll-out, and all systems are being readied for a rapid scale-up of vaccinations in the Western Cape, including the readying of mass vaccination sites, for when more supplies arrive. We are ready to go,” Cloete said.
Winde added: “I am pleased to note that we will receive a large tranche of Pfizer doses on 24 June, estimated at 140 000 doses. This will enable us to ramp up our vaccination programme by the end of June.
“We are hoping the arrival of more J&J vaccines will also help this scale-up,” he said.
Dr Cloete said that to date the province has received a total of 245 700 vaccines for Phase 2, of which a total of 213 356 vaccines have administered. This is equivalent to 86.8% of the total vaccines administered.
Dr Cloete said that the province has also exceeded its weekly targets each week since the start of Phase 2:
- In week 1, we vaccinated 10 327 people against a target of 10 000;
- In week 2, we vaccinated 35 906 people against a target of 30 000;
- In week 3, we vaccinated 66 885 people against a target 60 000; and
- In week 4, we vaccinated 72 304 people against a target of 70 000.
“We can also reach a minimum of 120 000 vaccinations a week or 24 000 a day and can scale up further to 150 000 a week or 30 000 vaccines a day, should we receive additional vaccines,” he said.
“The Western Cape government is ready to scale up its vaccine sites, subject to our vaccine supply. To prevent a stop/start approach to our vaccine rollout, we have aligned our vaccine rollout to the number of vaccines that the province receives.”
There are currently 205 active vaccine sites in the Western Cape which include:
- 65 active public sites in the metro
- 107 active public sector sites in the rural districts
- 33 active private sector sites
The rollout of the mass vaccination sites remains dependent on the number of vaccines received.
The province said that they are on track to roll out mass vaccination sites, including:
- The Momentum mass vaccination site at the Parc Du Cap premises in the Bellville area opened on 4 June 2021 which will serve as a private-sector site. The provincial Department of Health will partner with this site to cover some uninsured clients.
- A mass vaccination site at the CTICC will be established in partnership with the City of Cape Town and the private sector. The plan is to launch this site in the first week of July.
- A mass vaccination site in the Cape Flats is also being planned, to ensure greater access for all residents in the metro.
To register for the Covid-19 vaccine, visit www.westerncape.gov.za and click on the link, or dial *134*832# and follow the prompts (free on all South African networks), or WhatsApp the word REGISTER to 0600 123456.
If you are over 60 and registered for your Covid-19 vaccine, you can expect:
- An SMS confirming your registration.
- A second SMS with an appointment date and the place. For those who have already registered, this should come in next two to three weeks.
- Get vaccinated with your first dose.
- Be given a proof of vaccination card.
- Be given an appointment date for your second dose (if a two-dose vaccine applies).