Pretoria - Hundreds of elderly residents of Pretoria’s eastern suburbs have been up before dawn in recent days to queue in the hope of getting a Covid-19 vaccine without an official appointment.
But the gap for walk-ins is narrowing as the government ramps up its roll-out of the vaccine to those over the age of 60.
At the Lynnridge mall where long queues have formed outside the Van Heerden Pharmacy, yesterday a sign indicated that 75 people with voucher numbers from the Electronic Vaccine Data System, would be assisted along with 150 walk-ins.
At the front of the queue, a couple from Bronkhorstspruit said they had been there at 4.30am and would be getting vaccinated.
But others in the queue were disappointed to be told at around 7am that they could not be helped as the walk-in slots were full for the day, and they should wait for an official appointment time.
A sign on the gate of Union Caterers site in Equestria that’s being used by Life Wilgers Hospital as its vaccination site, indicated that it was only taking appointments, as are other sites in Pretoria east.
In his announcement of the move to adjusted alert Level 2, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday that more than three million people were registered on the system, and in the past two weeks, over 480 000 people had received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine as part of the public vaccination campaign.
He admitted to some teething problems with the electronic system but urged everyone to help “our parents, our grandparents, or the elderly people in our community” to register.
Those registered are supposed to wait for an SMS indicating a site near where they live, a date and time they can go for their vaccination.