* This story has been updated.
Cape Town – While there was initially a mix up with people getting SMSs for vaccine appointments further away from their homes, this should no longer be an issue according to provincial health department head.
Dr Keith Cloete, provincial head of the health department, said that the SMSes for the vaccinations were initially set up by the national team, which led to people getting sent vaccination dates at sites far away from where they live.
This also lead to a miscalculation in the number of people going to a particular vaccination site.
Dr Cloete said that as of Wednesday, May 19, the provincial government has been in charge of the scheduling the vaccines administering and that they are targeting a three-day notice period.
“That was the reason why we said we are going to start slow (with the roll-out) because we wanted to iron out all of those hitches at the beginning.”
He later clarified that that the scheduling is being organised by provincial teams, but that the SMSes for available slots are still being sent out by the national team.
This means that SMSes for vaccine appointments are being sent based on the available slots that vaccine sites in the Western Cape have.
“(Previously) you would get an SMS the night before and have to be at the site the next day.
“We want to now slowly get into the habit of saying, we’re going to tell you in three days time at which site you need to go.”
“Ultimately, we want to have a week’s-lead time that everybody in about two to three weeks time get an SMS a week ahead of time with a scheduling date.”
Dr Cloete also advised people not be alarmed if they missed they’ve accidentally missed their vaccine appointment dates.
“The system is designed in such a way that if somebody misses their appointment or skips their appointment, the system can show how many people have got appointments, and how many people have showed up.
“It’s very clear on how many people have missed appointments and haven’t come.
“The system will generate a second invite for the person, and if they miss the second time, it will generate a third invite,” he explained.
“Everybody needs to know that if they’ve missed an appointment, they will get a second or a third invite.”
Dr Cloete said that they are calling on everyone to help the system to work, and to come on the first time that they get their vaccine invitation.
This is why they are moving towards a three-day, and ultimately a one-week notice period for vaccine appointments.
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).