How KZN will rollout Covid-19 vaccine programme
Durban - As healthcare workers in KwaZulu-Natal became the first in the province to receive the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, the provincial government outlined its plan to vaccinate the rest of the population.
With an estimated 11.3 million people residing in KZN, the provincial government said it had devised an inoculation plan to reach the majority of its citizens based on guidelines set by the World Health Organisation, and National Department of Health.
Premier Sihle Zikalala said on Thursday that the province had established a Vaccine Co-ordinating Committee, which includes private hospitals, traditional leaders, eThekwini Municipality, Health Systems Trust, Organised Labour, NGOs (PEPFAR partners), the academic sector, National Health Laboratory Service, civil society and the South African Military Health Services, among others.
He said the plan had taken into account patient flow, resource allocation, security, data capturing, and vaccinator training and allocation.
“The Provincial Command Council will support, monitor and perform oversight over the vaccine roll-out process,” Zikalala said.
“All District Command Councils, led by MEC’s and Mayors will spend time in districts for the duration of the roll-out and ensure daily accountability and hands-on support. The Provincial Vaccine Coordinating Committee, Chaired by the HOD for the Department of Health, which includes Unions, NGO’s, Traditional Healers, Academic sector, Civil Society, and Military Health Care services, has also been established to fast-track implementation,” he said.
Zikalala said the province will follow a phased approach to vaccination which, divided into two categories will first target healthcare staff that are in direct contact with patients followed by staff not in direct contact with patients such as administrative and other staff.
One the province gets all the vaccines it requires the following sectors of the population will be targetted:
•Public sector health care staff: 67 644
•Medical doctors, dentists, pharmacists, Emergency Medical Services: 9292
•Nurses: 34 279
•Non-OSD staff: 20 417
•Allied health professional: 2639
•Staff providing social services: 256
•Privately contracted staff working in public sector: 14625
•Traditional healers: 5939
•Military health care staff: 350
•NGO sector staff: 6699
•Environmental Health Practitioners: 360
According to the provincial government, Inkosi Albert Luthuli Central Hospital has 10 vaccination sites, while Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital has 15 and all vaccinators have already registered at both sites which they say is adequate for this phase.
Zikalala said the vaccination process will take place over 10 working days using the Electronic Vaccination Vaccine Data System which people would need to register on.
“We are aware that this vaccine is eagerly awaited in all parts of the province. In fact, if it were up to us, we would be administering it to all our health and allied workers, support staff, and to the general public no later than from today onwards.
But, unfortunately, we are at the mercy of manufacturers, market forces, as well as a number of other variables that determine when we can receive these vaccines, as well as what volumes we receive....But we want to assure our committed and hard-working cadre of healthcare workers and the people of this province that they, too, will get the vaccine, as soon as it becomes available,” Zikalala said.