Western Cape to begin Covid-19 vaccine rollout today
Cape Town - The Western Cape will begin its Covid-19 vaccine rollout today after the arrival of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the country.
South Africa received its first delivery of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine at OR Tambo International Airport in Gauteng late on Tuesday.
On Tuesday evening, Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo said that the allocation for the Western Cape was not confirmed but according to preliminary information, it could be around 13 000 -15 000 doses.
“We are part of the national programme, which can change any time and it is beyond our control.”
Out of 17 vaccine sites in the country, Groote Schuur Hospital and Tygerberg Hospital have been identified as vaccination sites in the Western Cape.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, in the Western Cape for the State of the Nation Address debate and reply, will also be receiving his Covid-19 vaccine injection today in Khayelitsha.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been shown in extensive trials to be safe and efficacious and will protect our health care workers from illness and death from Covid-19,” Ramaphosa said.
“To demonstrate our confidence in this vaccine and help allay any fears that people may have, the minister of health and I will join the first health-care workers to receive the vaccine in Khayelitsha.”
The president will be getting his Covid-19 vaccine injection, along with other healthcare workers at Khayelitsha District Hospital at midday.
The Western Cape had already begun training for Covid-19 vaccinators at the beginning of the month. The first batch of vaccines has been reserved for health-care workers across both private and public sectors (phase 1).
Phase 2 will include the vaccination of essential workers, people over 60 years, people with co-morbidities and those in nursing homes and hostels.
Phase 3 will include the rest of the adult population. The country hopes to vaccinate around 40 million people to reach herd immunity, including non-South Africans.
Premier Alan Winde’s spokesperson, Bianca Capazorio, said that due to the State of the Province Address in Genadendal, he would not be available for the vaccine rollout.
“The premier will not be able to attend as he is in Genadendal delivering his speech and the timing just doesn't allow.”