CAPE TOWN - As the Western Cape strives to get 70% of its population inoculated by December, the provincial Health Department has launched Vaxi Taxi, an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) mobile vaccination project.
The aim of the project is to take the vaccine campaign to the streets and into communities in every corner of the province.
The health department said the pop-up vaccination campaign commenced on September 4, and to date has vaccinated over 1 000 people.
“During the preparation stage, each team member underwent thorough training. The EMS Vaxi Taxi programme started when the volunteers and EMS officials administered vaccinations at community soup kitchens, markets and while conducting home visits in various communities.
“Since early October, the team has partnered with the Department of Education and began vaccinating matriculants at schools in the province. Many matriculants have not been vaccinated yet, and bridging the gap has become a priority to the team since the matric exams are fast approaching,” the health department said.
It said corporate companies have also partnered with EMS to ensure that employees are provided with the opportunity to receive their vaccinations.
EMS Director, Dr Shaheem De Vries said they are honoured to be working alongside the rest of their health colleagues in taking the vaccine campaign to the streets.
“We see this as an important opportunity to build stronger relationships with our communities and, in so doing, help keep one another safe.
“I am also thrilled that we have the opportunity to team up with the Department of Education and corporate partners, and we look forward to providing more opportunities for vaccinations to communities in the Western Cape,” De Vries said.
Each Vaxi Taxi site consists of two ambulances, one used as a primary vaccination section and the other a secondary vaccination and resuscitation section.
The site also contains an equipped gazebo and administrative section.
The precautions and mandatory vaccinations processes are followed, such as a cold chain where vaccines are drawn and kept in cool boxes, proper storage, temperature control and monitoring, administration with vaccine preparation and record keeping.
The project leader for the EMS Vaxi Taxi project, Wayne Philander, said they have been working with community partners to identify locations to offer the Covid-19 vaccines and their goal is to reach every corner of the province.
“The aim of the EMS Vaxi Taxi is to serve communities and ensure that it reaches as many individuals as possible, whether it be at their workplaces and educational institutions, meeting people where they are,” Philander added.