Emergency first responder and crime fighter Paul Franke. Picture: Supplied
Emergency first responder and crime fighter Paul Franke. Picture: Supplied

Crime fighter and first responders do Covid vaccine drive for the elderly

By Genevieve Serra Time of article published May 29, 2021

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Cape Town - An emergency first responder and crime fighter, together with his colleagues, has carried out a door-to-door vaccination drive with the elderly in his community.

Paul Franke and his colleagues have succeeded in registering 22 elderly persons in Ocean View.

Franke told Weekend Argus many of the elderly lacked access to the internet or simply did not have transport or the financial means to get to the nearest registration centres.

Franke received his jab earlier this month as a frontline worker.

The area is riddled with gang violence and Franke has been liaising with the local authorities like police and government to improve visibility in the community for years.

He had also initiated a peace and memorial garden in Ocean View to commemorate those who were taken away violently.

The site is where victims such as Emaan Solomons, 7, and Cameron Britz, 14, who were murdered have been commemorated.

“I received my vaccine earlier this month,” he said

“‘I initiated the drive as I spoke to our oversight leader and we saw a lot of elderly people battled to get to the Civic Centre.

“Some people are wheelchair-bound or they do not have the next-of-kin to take them and they are not mobile.

“We managed to register 22 people. Our plan was just to do a few but there was a need for more to be done.

“I have my shot but people need to realise you still need to be safe and wear your mask and sanitise.

“This is important for the elderly who are more vulnerable to get themselves registered.”

Resident, Ivan Quickfall, 72, is ecstatic after he was registered.

He is now awaiting his SMS for the vaccine date.

“They (emergency first responder team) made the process faster and easier, and within five minutes my partner and I were registered.

“Now, we are waiting for our SMS to say when we can get our vaccine.

“We are thankful to Paul and the team.”

The vaccination registration process has seen a total of 4426 elderly persons vaccinated across 57 old-age homes, provincial Minister of Social Development Sharna Fernandez confirmed this week.

She explained the importance of the elderly receiving the vaccine especially at old-age homes.

“As of 26 May 2021, 4426 older persons have been vaccinated across 57 old-age homes in the province as part of Phase 2 of the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out plan, which includes all citizens who are 60 years and older,” she said.

“Our elderly citizens are considered a high-risk group in terms of requiring hospitalisation or other forms of specialised services if they contract Covid-19. Consequently, we are remaining on high alert to respond to any potential resurgence of the virus across old-age homes,” said Fernandez.

“All residential facilities are encouraged to urgently register residents who are 60 years and older on the electronic vaccination data system.

“The provincial Department of Social Development’s role as stipulated in the Older Persons Act is to register residential facilities and monitor adherence to norms and standards of care within facilities.

“In the Western Cape, there are a total of 300 old-age homes of which 117 are funded by the department.”

Emergency first responder and crime fighter Paul Franke (red cap) and team members carried out a vaccination drive for the elderly in Ocean View. Picture: Supplied

Emergency first responder and crime fighter Paul Franke (red cap) and team members carried out a vaccination drive for the elderly in Ocean View. Picture: Supplied

Weekend Argus

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