’If the Western Cape can gain additional vaccines, it will accept them’ – Winde
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Cape Town - The Western Cape government is continuing with its planning for the rollout of vaccines to healthcare workers, as part of the first phase of its rollout strategy.
Premier Alan Winde explained that the province is making the necessary arrangements to administer the Covid-19 vaccine when they received it but are still waiting on more information from government.
“We are, however, still awaiting clarity on when the first dosages, announced by Health Minister Zweli Mkhize, will arrive in the Western Cape. We are planning around the first week of February.
“We have also initiated an internal communications process to ensure that our healthcare workers and professionals are provided with the information they need in advance of this rollout.
“This campaign will be ramped up during the course of this week and in the week ahead. It is important that we allay any fears healthcare workers have so that we have a high take up when the vaccines arrive,” Winde said.
“We are also planning a major external communications campaign, that will start even before vaccines are secured, so that we take on the growing tide of fake news on vaccines.”
Winde said that more information on this campaign would be announced in due course. He added that as exhibited throughout the duration of the pandemic, the provincial government will continue to work hand-in-hand with national government.
"We will continue to work with our national counterparts – in the spirit of the constitutionally enshrined principle of cooperative governance. This includes with vaccines.
“With this said, our government shares with the national government responsibility for health services, which is a concurrent function under the Constitution, and it would, hence, be irresponsible for our government to sit back and do nothing when it is clear that there is currently not enough vaccines secured for the Western Cape,” Winde said.
“As part of our due diligence as a provincial government, we will, of course, accept vaccines if we are able to secure more of them.
“This would not only be for the benefit of the Western Cape, but also for the country as a whole. South Africa faces an enormous challenge in securing vaccines after being late to order them, and any additional vaccines secured should be viewed as positive assistance to our national cause.”
“There is nothing in the law that prevents this, and it is morally and ethically the right thing to do.’’
Winde added: “The truth is that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on this country, and vaccines are an important tool in managing the impact of this virus.
“Vaccines can save lives, and as a caring and responsible government, we must be doing everything we can to ensure that we secure as many doses as possible, as quickly as possible.”