Cape Town - With around two weeks left before the commencement of phase 2 in the vaccine roll-out, the provincial Health Department is attempting to mobilise individuals who are 60 years old and above to register to be vaccinated.
Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo conducted a seniors registration drive in Ruyterwacht and visited the Ruyterwacht Community Day Centre on Monday.
She continued the campaign at the Durbanville town centre today.
Phase 2 of the vaccine roll-out is expected to commence on May 17. The government’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) is open for registration for those 60 years and older.
“The registration drive went very well, we went to three streets at Ruyterwacht. Those were the houses with elderly people. Community health-care workers delivered chronic medication while the MEC was registering them on the EVDS,” said the MEC’s spokesperson, Nomawethu Sbukwana.
“They are excited about getting the vaccine because the virus has made it impossible for them to spend time with their grandchildren because they are vulnerable and susceptible to the virus.”
Elderly resident Jan Claasen, aged 60-year-old, says he is excited to receive his Covid-19 vaccination. Mr Claassen was assisted with registration by a community healthcare worker.
“I am ready to get my vaccine. I know that taking it can help to protect me from virus. I am happy that we were helped today.”
Eva and Esau Moses have been married for 42 years and the couple opted to register for vaccination. The couple was assisted by Dr Mbombo during the registration drive.
“I want to be vaccinated because I know it can prevent me from becoming very sick. As a farming community member, it’s good to receive support with the registration.”
Meanwhile, the province has been seeing reassuring signs following the decline in active Covid-19 cases, now below 2 000.
The Western Cape reported 284 289 confirmed cases with 270 595 recoveries as of yesterday. There are 1 941 active cases.
Provincial Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said this could be attributed to the behavioural changes which seem to have taken hold.
“If the numbers continue to be low, it is a sign that people are adhering to safety measures. In addition, we have also seen very low numbers of current infections among health-care workers. (This) could be an early sign of vaccine efficacy.”
Van der Heever cautioned against letting one's guard down, as the decrease has been evident for several weeks. He said the department’s surveillance teams continue to remain active in its contact tracing.
Around 732 people have been hospitalised due to the virus, of which 149 are in high care or ICU. Around 11 627 people have succumbed to the virus in the province since the start of the pandemic.
The provincial Health Department is awaiting further communication on the delivery date for the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine. The first shipment of 325 260 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived at the OR Tambo International Airport during the early hours of yesterday morning.
According to the vaccine update by Premier Alan Winde, 58 956 vaccines received to date as part of the Sisonke trial were administered by 5pm on Sunday.
Meanwhile, State Security Minister Ayanda Dlodlo visited the vaccine sites at Khayelitsha and Groote Schuur Hospital on Monday.
Dlodlo, a member of the inter-ministerial committee on vaccines, expressed satisfaction with the province’s vaccine roll-out.
Those encountering any problems registering on the online portal should contact the Covid-19 Hotline on 0800 029 999.