Cape Town - In light of the government's efforts to increase and widen access to Covid- 19 vaccination for 18 -34 age group, the University of Cape Town (UCT) has partnered with the Western Cape Department of Health to launch the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre.
Situated at UCT’s Forest Hill residence complex in Mowbray, the vaccination site will officially start operations tomorrow. It is open to all members of the public and at full capacity will administer vaccines to 75 people per hour.
UCT vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said when the Western Cape Department of Health approached the university about the possibility of setting up the facility, it provided an opportunity to serve those who live and work around the university.
“We want our students, staff members and all of the community members in our vicinity to have the protection the vaccine provides against the worst possible effects of Covid-19. This new vaccination site is our way of giving back to the local community, by providing the physical space and facilities.
“We decided on the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre because we view vaccination as a step towards defeating the pandemic – especially as it is opening so soon after the youth have received the opportunity to get vaccinated. We see this as a practical manifestation of hope,” said Phakeng.
Despite hesitation to the vaccine, UCT student Isabel Nyathi said that it was a great initiative to get students to be extra safe for students who wanted to get vaccinated.
“To be quite honest, I still have my reservations about the vaccine. I feel like it’s too close and its an invasion of privacy because it indirectly pressures those who have reservations about the vaccine.”
“However, I also do feel like it is very commendable for the university to carry out this initiative for those who want to get vaccinated. It is not only convenient, but it helps those who cannot travel long distances and those that want to be extra cautious to actually have the centre at the doorstep. But for me, no. I still need a lot of clarity in regards to what is in the vaccine and having the centre right at my doorstep is not going to budge my feelings towards it,” said Nyathi.
As vaccine hesitation still looms for many and the the site opening just days after those aged between 18 and 34 became eligible for vaccination, Premier Alan Winde continued to encourage young people to get their jab, in order to continue with life as normal.
“To those young people who have not yet been vaccinated – I encourage you to make use of your vaccine opportunity so that we can once again do the things we love, be with the people we love, and go to the places we love,” said Winde.
The vaccination site will be open every weekday. Its location on the main road near the Mowbray public transport interchange, the N2, the university community and the businesses and communities that surround the university makes it easily accessible.