'What better way to be able to get back into a nightclub than via the vaccine?'
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Cape Town - The Western Cape is considering innovative ways to promote vaccine uptake, by using nightclubs and other entertainment venues as possible vaccine sites.
Premier Alan Winde, speaking at the inauguration of the walk-in section of the Athlone Stadium mass vaccination site, said the plan was an idea from Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo that emerged during a recent meeting.
He said if it came about, the strategy would be aimed at young people who are suffering from the mental fatigue brought on by the lockdown and that it would be aimed particularly at young people when the vaccine was opened to people aged over 18.
“What better way to be able to get back into a nightclub than via the vaccine? I think we also need to say to our younger people that when they come to this facility for their vaccination, they must bring a plus one. That person should be their uncle, their aunt or their granny who is still not vaccinated, as they are the ones who are highly at risk.”
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde is on an oversight visit on the readiness of the Athlone Vaccination Centre of Hope. The Centre will welcome its first clients on Tuesday 17 August 2021. @TheCapeArgus pic.twitter.com/JQAUNHQNRf— Mwangi Githahu (@MwangiGithahu) August 16, 2021
Winde challenged President Cyril Ramaphosa to open up vaccination to the over 18s sooner than the end of the month, which is when it is scheduled.
“Let’s get people into the system as quickly as possible, because December is coming and we want to enjoy the December holiday season and have a return to normality in our health-care system,” said Winde.
Mayor Dan Plato said his biggest worry at the moment was vaccine apathy and he pleaded with the public to trust the vaccines.
“It’s shocking to see on social media and in the mainstream media that people don’t want to vaccinate for various reasons. We will have to turn that tide around,” said Plato.
Social development MEC Sharna Fernandez said everyone needed to understand the need for vaccination.
“I’m a survivor of the H1N1 virus that swept the world in 2009. I had a protracted illness for nearly 18 months. I lost my memory, my system shut down and I've been reliant on vaccines ever since, whether it’s a pneumonia vaccine or a flu vaccine, and it has kept me alive,” said Fernandez.
The walk-in service which is open from Tuesday, will have 40 vaccination stations, while the drive-through services, which open two weeks from today, will have five lanes.
The drive-through will follow the same steps as a walk-through, with cars stopping at five stations, which will ensure that clients are successfully screened, registered, and vaccinated.
Head of health Dr Keith Cloete said the Athlone Stadium was chosen as it is easily accessible, via all forms of transport, to the broader Klipfontein community and serves a large majority of the uninsured population in the Cape Metro.
At full capacity the facility will be able to administer over 4000 vaccinations. The walk-through service will have 40 stations and the drive-through service will have five lanes, where cars can stop at the five stations. The drive-through section opens in 2 weeks. pic.twitter.com/bU69EEh1mF— Premier Alan Winde (@alanwinde) August 16, 2021
Every life matters, and so every person must have access to these life-saving vaccines. It doesn’t matter where you live, or what you earn. pic.twitter.com/nElT2JKVSB— Premier Alan Winde (@alanwinde) August 16, 2021