First healthcare workers to be vaccinated in Garden Route
The first group of healthcare workers from both the public and private sector in the Garden Route District will receive their Johnson & Johnson’s vaccinations today, 3 March 2021.
EMS Sub-district Manager for George, Cedric Yantolo (56) received the first vaccination at the launch of the George Hospital vaccination site. He understands the importance of getting the vaccine. “I am the only breadwinner in my family and some of my family members are sickly, so I cannot afford to get sick. So far I have protected myself with the only means available and that is personal protective gear. I am however now ready for additional protection – the vaccine! I am afraid of needles, so getting this vaccine voluntarily really speaks to my believe in protecting myself and others”, he said.
Administering the vaccine was Carika-Ann Jansen van Vuuren, who is the operational manager for the outpatient department at George Hospital. When asked if she was hesitant about the vaccine: “A little bit but after I did the training, I realized that one can only benefit from the vaccine”.
Second tranche of vaccines and first batch for Rural
The second batch of vaccines arrived in the province over the weekend. The province has been allocated 13 068 vaccines which will be delivered in two separate batches. Of this, 2 560 will be distributed to the Rural areas. The Garden Route has received an initial 320 doses for the first week with another batch arriving next week.
Select health staff from the different sub-districts as well as private hospital staff who have registered and have received their voucher and confirmed an appointment with their manager will receive their vaccination this week.
The Sisonke implementation study vaccines are being administered over an eight-week period. We estimate that approximately 40% of healthcare workers in the province will be vaccinated in this timeframe with the available vaccines.
To ensure that we prevent any situation emerging where a non-healthcare worker poses as a healthcare worker during this first phase of this vaccination programme, we require all healthcare workers to show workplace identification, or to provide their Health Professions Council registration number as verification.
Phases 2 and 3 will cover larger numbers of residents and will include other frontline services, people in congregate settings, those at risk due to age or comorbidity, and finally, in phase 3, the general adult population. We are working hard to put all the systems in place to roll out these phases as soon as approved vaccines arrive.
Sequencing of vaccines
Since we are receiving several deliveries of the vaccine, the Department has introduced sequencing to ensure equitable access, and that the most vulnerable and most at risk of exposure healthcare workers are vaccinated first.
As we continue to receive batches of vaccines, we commit to continue with vaccination so that all healthcare workers who are willing to be vaccinated get vaccinated. The private sector will start with hospital staff first as per sequencing thereafter all other private health staff will be vaccinated as per sequencing.
If any health staff member of the private group sector has any questions to please speak to their manager who will need to book their appointment after they have registered and received their voucher.
Register for vaccine
During phase 1, only healthcare workers who wish to take up vaccination can register on the national electronic system: https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za. Once registered they will be issued with a voucher indicating vaccination site and date to go for the vaccination. Registered healthcare workers are asked to liaise with the relevant person at their workplace to book their appointment after they have received their voucher.
We will inform the public when they can start registering on the system.