Healthcare worker vaccination update | Western Cape Government


Healthcare worker vaccination update

10 March 2021

The overall intent of the vaccination roll-out is to prevent severe illness and death and to protect the health system. During Phase 1, healthcare workers are being targeted first, to ensure that we are able to vaccinate the most at risk healthcare workers first to ensure our readiness for a third wave.  

To date, the Western Cape received 25 960 vaccines in two tranches as part of the J&J/Sisonke implementation study: Tranche One (13 160) and Tranche Two (12 800). 

Vaccination progress (Phase 1) 

19 879 vaccines have thus far been administered (76,5% of allocation received) in the ongoing first round of vaccinations focused on the healthcare workers, both public and private. This translates to almost 1000 vaccinations administered per day since 17 February. 

As more vaccines arrive, more vaccination sites will be opened. There are currently 8 vaccination sites across the province consisting of both public and private vaccination sites. (Groote Schuur, Tygerberg, Khayelitsha District Hospital, Karl Bremer, Gatesville Melomed Hospital, Worcester, Paarl and George Hospital) 

Sequencing of vaccines to healthcare workers 
Since a limited number of vaccines are currently available 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.    

According to this sequencing, vaccines will be allocated pro-rata per number of staff per facility. Within these allocations, further prioritization will take place taking into account:   

  • Individual vulnerability by age   
  • Individual vulnerability due to comorbidities   
  • Risk of exposure (patient facing vs non-patient facing staff)   
  • Criticality of setting (eg. working in critical care, Covid wards etc.)   

Even though we follow the sequencing, we do so with speed as we are given the next tranche based on using it within the allotted time. 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 Sisonke implementation study vaccines are being administered over an eight-week period and commenced on 17 February. We estimate that approximately 40% of healthcare workers in the province will be vaccinated with the available vaccines. The continued roll-out of Phase one HCW vaccinations should be complete by end April (depending on vaccine.  

Planning for Phases 2 & 3 
Phases 2 and 3 will cover larger numbers of residents and will include other frontline services, people in congregate settings, essential workers, 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.   The current planning is for quarter 2, likely from May onwards. 

Register for vaccine  
During phase 1, only healthcare workers who wish to take up vaccination can register on the national Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS): 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.   

Currently we request non-healthcare staff not to register on the system. We will inform the public when they can start registering on the system.