Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez getting her Covid-19 jab.
Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez getting her Covid-19 jab.

Western Cape social development ready for vaccine roll-out

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Jul 21, 2021

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Cape Town - The provincial Department of Social Development (DSD) says it is ready to get the vaccine roll-out for those within the sector off the ground.

This after Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu announced at the weekend that the vaccine programme for its sector would commence yesterday in all provinces, with the exception of the Western Cape and Limpopo.

The Western Cape is scheduled to start inoculating on Thursday, and Limpopo will follow on Friday.

Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez said: “I urge all those individuals who qualify to be vaccinated to make use of this special opportunity as the Covid-19 vaccination serves as our most effective way to fight the current pandemic, and to save lives.

“This is an essential step in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic, as we try to combat the negative impact the virus is having on education, the economy, health care and various other activities of a functional society.”

The roll-out will include front-line workers at registered and unregistered Early Childhood Development centres; private, public and NGO-based social service professionals including social workers, auxiliary social workers, student social workers, child and youth care workers and child and youth care auxiliary workers; DSD-employed community development practitioners; and DSD front-line staff at Social Development facilities such as the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa), the National Development Agency (NDA), and the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP).

“In total, we anticipate that this vaccine roll-out programme will target just over 240 000 of our workforce throughout the sector, and this will enable business continuity of our social services currently in high demand as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Western Cape Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said, where resources allowed, weekend vaccinations have taken place in rural districts. Other areas including the metro will commence this coming weekend.

However, this would depend on the availability and supply of vaccines and human resources, Van der Heever said.

“We have seen a consistent number of people coming to vaccination sites across the province, both scheduled and walk-ins, and as of Friday we have vaccinated 779 698 people (including health workers and educators).

“Last week alone we vaccinated 147 075 people during the week and we are hopeful we will be able to vaccinate 150 000 people this week.”

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