Western Cape appoints advisory committee to help with Covid-19 vaccine roll-out
Cape Town - The Western Cape government has appointed a vaccine advisory committee to help with the province’s Covid-19 vaccine roll-out strategy.
Premier Alan Winde on Wednesday announced that the Western Cape government has developed a strategy to ensure that vaccines are rolled out safely, efficiently and ethically when the first doses arrive in the province.
The national Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, has indicated that the first of 1.5 million vaccines will arrive in the country by the end of the month, with more arriving by the end of February.
“We have already started the work to put the correct systems in place to manage this massive operation,” Winde said.
The Western Cape Government’s vaccine strategy involves three phases:
- Health-care workers:
- Essential workers:
- General population:
Winde said the province has appointed a vaccine advisory committee, “made up of experts who will advise us on matters including science and ethics throughout the process”.
“We have devised a process which will be followed for the roll-out of the vaccines, in all three phases,” he said. “First, facilities offering vaccination, as well as those individuals doing the vaccinating, will be pre-registered and accredited.
“The next step is the creation of a vaccination register, which will be similar to a voters role and list those who require vaccinating. In this regard, we have started consultations with the IEC to share information about the systems they use.
“Those on the register will receive an appointment time and date, where they sign a consent form, receive their first dose, and an appointment date for their second dose. They will also be issued with proof of vaccination. On the appropriate date, the person will receive their second dose.”
The premier said that the province would also be putting in place data systems to track the progress of the roll-out and vaccine coverage at an individual and community level.
The National Department of Health has proposed a computer application system for this process, however, should there be any delays with this system, the Western Cape government will have its own system and mitigating processes in place to avoid any delays.
“The process of vaccinating enough people to achieve ’herd immunity’ is a mammoth one and will require careful management, as well as the support of the public and private sectors and civil society.
“To this end, we have started engagements with organised labour, and will also be engaging civil society, business, religious communities and other stakeholders,” Winde said.
“Vaccines are a powerful weapon against Covid-19, but they cannot be the only tool available to us. We must at all times continue to use infection prevention measures such as mask-wearing, social distancing and hygiene to protect ourselves and our loved ones while vaccines are being rolled out.
“As we have done throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, we will continue to share clear, honest information and data with the public on the availability, accessibility and acceptability of vaccines,” Winde said.