The second health care worker to get the Covid-19 vaccination in South Africa is Dr Sa'ad Lahri who is a EM Physician at the Khayelitsha District Hospital. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)
The second health care worker to get the Covid-19 vaccination in South Africa is Dr Sa'ad Lahri who is a EM Physician at the Khayelitsha District Hospital. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Western Cape has administered 41% of its allocated 13 000 Covid-19 vaccine doses

By Theolin Tembo Time of article published Feb 24, 2021

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Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde said that the rollout of vaccines to healthcare workers is progressing well in the province.

Since the first vaccine was administered in the province last week, the Western Cape has vaccinated 5 389 healthcare workers as of 5pm on Tuesday, February 23.

This represents approximately 41% of its allocated 13 000 doses.

“The Johnson and Johnson one-dose vaccine is being administered as part of the Sisonke implementation study. The vaccine will arrive in four tranches, which will be administered to health care workers over a period of eight weeks,” Winde said.

He explained that due to the small number of vaccines allocated in the first tranche, the province has decided to focus its rollout of the first batch to the immediate sub-districts surrounding the four identified vaccination sites: Groote Schuur, Tygerberg Hospital, Khayelitsha District Hospital and Karl Bremer (which was added as a site on Tuesday).

He said that the reason for this is “as not to spread them out too thinly across the province”.

Other facilities and areas in the province will be added in tranches 2, 3 and 4.

In the second tranche, vaccinations will be administered at 10 sites, 17 in tranche 3 and in tranche 4, the Western Cape government will conduct “mop up activities” to vaccinate as many healthcare workers as possible across the province.

“These sites are not reserved for healthcare workers only working at each facility, and healthcare workers from the surrounding area, EMS, public healthcare facilities and City of Cape Town healthcare workers can all be vaccinated at these sites.

“We have introduced sequencing in order to ensure equitable access across the province and ensure that we address risk factors,” Winde said.

“According to this sequencing, vaccines will be allocated pro-rata per number of staff per facility.”

Within these allocations, further prioritisation will need to take place taking into account:

  • Individual vulnerability by age
  • Individual vulnerability due to comorbidities
  • Risk of exposure (patient facing vs non-patient facing staff)
  • Criticality of setting (eg. working in critical care, Covid wards etc.)

Winde said that they have experienced some minor early challenges in the rollout of phase 1, most of which have already been addressed and resolved.

“We have also seen the number of people being vaccinated increasing daily. Early on, syringe filling times caused some delays, but ongoing training of pharmacists has helped to resolve this problem.

“We have also experienced some challenges with the national government’s electronic system, however, we have been able to rely on a paper-based back up system while these issues were being addressed,” the premier said.

The premier added that to ensure that they avoid any situation where a non-healthcare worker poses as a healthcare worker during this first phase of this vaccination programme, all healthcare workers are required to show staff identification, or to provide their Health Professions Council registration number as verification.

“Healthcare workers are our number one priority in this phase, and I, therefore, appeal to residents not to try and skip the queue ahead of our frontline workers.”

Cape Argus

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