Call for youth to help register Cape elderly for Covid-19 vaccine
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Cape Town – Health officials in the Western Cape have called on young people to help assist the elderly in registering for the Covid-19 vaccine as the province begin its phase 2 roll-out.
The Western Cape government launched phase 2 of its vaccine roll-out programme on Monday, starting with a group of elderly people at Brooklyn Chest Hospital in Milnerton – one of the designated provincial vaccination sites.
The initial seven public facing sites are: Brooklyn Chest Hospital, Helderberg Hospital, Mitchells Plain Hospital, Khayelitsha District Hospital, Karl Bremer Hospital, Brackenfell Clinic and Albow Gardens Clinic.
As part of the next phase of vaccine delivery to the province the first allocation of 30 420 Pfizer doses have been delivered, with more doses being delivered weekly.
Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo said: “Today signifies a huge milestone, vaccinating the vulnerable group that utilises most of our health services.
“Getting them vaccinated means they are protected from the virus and will not be flocking to our health facilities. This in turn will also protect our health system and give us a bit of normalcy.
“We can reintegrate other health services, reduce the burden of illnesses, hospitalisations and deaths from Covid-19, which senior citizens contribute largely. To achieve this, we must make sure that the elderly are vaccinated and safe,” Mbombo said.
“I appeal to the young people to assist in registering the elderly on the Electronic Vaccination Data System. It is our responsibility to assist them. We are not safe until we are all vaccinated.”
This initial set of vaccination sites are where a smaller number of registered residents over the age of 60 will be invited to get their vaccines.
The province said that the initial smaller number of sites would allow it to properly check the systems that had been put in place, to ensure an efficient scale-up of numbers by the end of the month.
“This scale-up approach is critical so that we have an orderly, dignified process and to that no person – especially anyone who is in a high-risk category – experiences poor service,” Mbombo said.
“Because of the focus on vaccinating old age homes on site this week, and our plan to bring vaccination sites online in a gradual way, the majority of people who have registered should start getting the SMSes in the next two to three weeks. This will coincide with the scale of numbers that we expect by the end of the month.”
The plan is to eventually have 70 metro and 204 rural sites on stream, and to complete vaccinations of those 60 years and older by the end of June.
However, the province has stressed that if residents have not received a phone call or an SMS indicating where they must go to get vaccinated, they should not go to any vaccination site.
Health head Dr Keith Cloete said: “The department will work as fast as we can to enable good access to vaccinations to all our citizens, starting with the most vulnerable.
“I am most pleased to welcome a number of our elderly citizens at the various sites in the province today. We urge all members of the community and partners to help us to register and vaccinate the elderly to protect them from severe illness before the third wave of Covid-19,” Cloete said.
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.
- Proof of vaccination card.
- An appointment date for your second dose (if a two-dose vaccine applies).