Netcare, Old Mutual partner with Western Cape government to open vaccination centre
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Cape Town - Partnerships with the private sector are needed to bolster the provincial government’s vaccine roll-out and to ensure that the province reaches its vaccination targets.
This was the collective sentiment at the opening of the Old Mutual’s Covid-19 vaccination site at Mutual Park in Pinelands on Monday, which saw senior residents receive their Covid-19 jab.
Premier Alan Winde, Netcare chief executive Dr Richard Friedland, Old Mutual Limited chief executive Iain Williamson, and Economic Opportunities and Finance MEC David Maynier were in attendance.
The private vaccination site will initially have the capacity to perform about 1 400 vaccinations a day, and this will be increased to about 3 000 vaccinations.
The partnership was not the first for between the private and public sector entities. In May last year, Old Mutual converted its Training Centre and Clubhouse into a 300-bed Covid-19 quarantine and isolation facility to support and strengthen the provincial government’s response to the pandemic.
Winde praised the public-private partnership, which was particularly important during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Winde said the country was behind in vaccinations.
“Of course that’s the pressure we find ourselves under. We don’t have enough vaccines coming into the system as a result of the Food and Drug Administration ruling and 60 million vaccines of Johnson & Johnson that had to be destroyed. Hopefully, that catch-up happens now this week. We are due to get another 140 000 this week for the public sector.”
On concerns about whether the third wave will be more detrimental than the previous two waves, Winde said it was the same Covid-19 strain that had driven the previous wave, and behaviour changes would ultimately determine the severity of the current wave.
Dr Friedland said 10 vaccination stations were currently open at the site, with each administering about 100 vaccines a day. As the number of stations increase, so will the number of daily vaccinations.
The facility is able to open between 36 and 38 stations. However, there was a need for vaccinators.
“We are going to ultimately see how many vaccines we can do. Our staff are tired, vaccinators are tired. We are asking for additional people to help us vaccinate, for registered nurses… the sky’s the limit for a site like this. We can always just expand,” said Dr Friedland.
We are so glad to have been able to partner with Netcare to make this a possibility, Premier @alanwinde. Beating the pandemic is our collective responsibility.#Sisonke #SisonkeReKaofela #WeChoosetoVaccinate https://t.co/em0m6yv0uI— Old Mutual SA (@OldMutualSA) June 21, 2021
Williamson said: “It’s in partnership with Netcare, who has provided us with some of the things we need from a licensing perspective to do this, as well as personnel to administer the vaccine. We’re really providing the logistics and space.
“This is something we are obviously excited about. Every single vaccination site that is set up and opened represents a positive step forward in the fight against the pandemic.”
Maynier said: “We are pleased that private sector vaccination sites like Old Mutual are now coming online, which is a great example of how businesses are partnering with government to spread awareness and flatten the curve, to help people, especially the elderly, to register, and finally to set up vaccination sites at business premises in the Western Cape.”