Western Cape shifts focus of Covid-19 vaccine rollout to rural areas
Cape Town - Premier Alan Winde said the Western Cape would begin rolling out its new allocation of Covid-19 vaccines in the rural areas this week, after the province has completed administering its first tranche of vaccines as part of the J&J/Sisonke implementation study.
The first vaccine was administered in the province on February 17, and Winde said the province set a target of rolling out its full allocation of just over 13 000 doses within two weeks.
By 5pm on Sunday, February 28, a total of 12 997 vaccines had been administered. These were rolled out at four sites at Groote Schuur Hospital, Tygerberg Hospital, Khayelitsha District Hospital and later, Karl Bremer Hospital.
“The completion this weekend puts us ahead of our original schedule and is a sign that the processes and systems we have put in place for this rollout are working,” Winde said.
The second tranche of vaccines arrived in the province on Monday.
“For this tranche, we have an allocation of 13 068 vaccines which will be delivered in two separate batches.
“In this round, we are excited to begin rolling out vaccines to areas outside of the Metro. This week, we will start vaccinating healthcare workers in Worcester, Paarl and George,” Winde said.
“This week, Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo will also open a dedicated vaccine site at the Melomed Gatesville Hospital, which will serve as a vaccination site for healthcare workers in the private sector.
“I am grateful to the Sisonke researchers and all of the healthcare workers who have been a part of this historic trial and I wish those new sites starting vaccinations in the next few days well as they start their processes.”
Winde said vaccinating healthcare workers who have been on the frontline for almost a full year now was an important step in managing the pandemic.
“It is imperative that while we ramp up our vaccination programme in South Africa, we all continue to take steps to protect ourselves and those around us.
“This will allow us to save lives, offer appropriate care to those who need it and ensure that our economy is able to reopen in a safe way to protect jobs.”
The Western Cape has 3786 active Covid-19 infections with a total of 275 449 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 260 479 recoveries.