As part of the Western Cape’s scale-up approach, more and more vaccination sites will be “coming online” across the province over the next two weeks. Picture: Western Cape Government/Supplied
As part of the Western Cape’s scale-up approach, more and more vaccination sites will be “coming online” across the province over the next two weeks. Picture: Western Cape Government/Supplied

Delayed J&J vaccine doses have impacted SMS registration system

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published May 25, 2021

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Cape Town - The delayed arrival of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine is why some people in the Western Cape may not have received their SMSes yet.

This was revealed during last week’s digicon by the Western Cape Health MEC, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo.

To date the Western Cape has only received two deliveries of the Pfizer vaccines, which has been used to finish Phase 1B of the start of Phase 2.

Phase 1B is the conclusion of health-care workers in the province being vaccinated, which is currently still ongoing.

Both Pfizer deliveries have only brought 33 900 doses vaccine doses. Another batch is expected to arrive along with J&J vaccines on May 28.

There are 260 000 J&J vaccine doses expected.

Mbombo said that the delay, which was as a result of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval system, is why there haven’t been as many SMSes sent out to people.

“In the first and second week of the roll-out we’d have done a lot of the people left over from Phase 1B so that we get a lot more spaces for the over-60s, which will (pick up) in the third week when we get the J&J vaccines.

“Also, it’s likely that the J&J vaccines (which require only one dose) will be used more in those out-of-reach areas, as we know with regards to the Pfizer (which requires two doses) we have to consider the storage.”

According to last week’s digicon, this is the current outline of the delivery of vaccines supplies for the Western Cape:

The provincial head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete, said they were working with their teams to adjust the pipeline and that this week’s digicon would show the adjusted pipeline for Pfizer.

He added that as more certainty emerged from J&J, they would adjust the number of J&J doses expected to be received.

When looking at vaccinations, this is impacted by how many vaccines the province expects will be administered a day, while also considering the size of the vaccination sites.

The vaccination administration is impacted by the number of vaccinators at a site, which the province has broken into small, medium, large, extra large and double extra large.

Across the province there are 3 014 registered vaccinators, as of last Thursday, but this continues to increase.

As part of the Western Cape’s scale-up approach, more and more vaccination sites will be “coming online” across the province over the next two weeks.

Premier Alan Winde said it was being done as more vaccines arrived in the province, enabling a greater number of vaccinations to take place daily.

“While this has not happened immediately on day 1, I can reassure our residents that there will be a site coming online near you, and soon.

“Already we have been able to scale up from just seven sites to more than 50 in the space of one week. This scale-up will continue in the days and weeks ahead,” he said.

“In this respect, I’ll be making announcements soon on even more sites that will come online in districts across the province.”

He said the provincial Department of Health was working around the clock to bring online a number of public sector sites across the Western Cape over this vaccination programme:

  • 70 sites in the City of Cape Town
  • 48 sites in the Overberg District
  • 53 sites in the West Coast District
  • 14 sites in the Central Karoo District
  • 41 sites in the Garden Route District
  • 48 sites in the Cape Winelands District

Winde said that these would vary in size, and therefore the daily output of vaccines. These numbers do not factor in private sector sites, which will also be coming online.

“I will keep you updated as often as possible and do my best to answer all of your frequently-asked questions,” Winde said.

“I know this is an exciting time, but also an anxious one, and you have my word we are doing whatever we can to ensure an efficient and dignified vaccine roll-out for every resident in this province – no matter who they are, or where they live.”

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).

Cape Argus

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