Over 60 and registered for your COVID vaccine? What to expect from Monday 24 May
Following the conclusion of the first week of the Phase 2 vaccination programme for over 60 year-olds, which also includes Phase 1b for healthcare workers, the Department would like to advise citizens on what to expect this week (24-28 May).
What happened in the first week
The Department deliberately started with only eight vaccination sites on day one (17 May) to test the system to ensure we identify teething problems to provide an efficient vaccination service. During this week we also scaled up our vaccination sites to 19, in addition to seven private sites at Clicks stores, bringing the combined vaccination sites to 26 during the first week.
Between 17 and 20 May, we have vaccinated 6 646 eligible people including those at Old Age Homes, of which 5 918 were persons over the age of 60 and the rest were healthcare workers.
What were the challenges
The biggest challenge was the scheduling of residents to receive their vaccine which was done centrally via the National Department of Health’s system. This resulted in:
- Many residents, and healthcare workers who have registered not receiving their second sms notifying them of their vaccination date, time and venue;
- Too many people were scheduled for a particular day at a particular site;
- Some residents were allocated a vaccination site which was too far and missed their appointments; and
- Late notification of their appointment date
We understand that there is a delay in residents receiving their SMS' and some have only been receiving their SMS the day before vaccine is scheduled to take place. To rectify this, the Western Cape Department of Health has been given control over the scheduling of SMS’, which will now allow our local teams to control the distribution of SMS’ in the province. Our teams will now be working on aligning the registrations with the scheduling and aim to provide a 3-day lead time, going forward, so that residents have enough time to get to their vaccination site. We will also make sure that sites are selected close to where the person resides.
What can be expected on Monday, 24 May (and the rest of the week)
During this week, the Department will continue vaccinating the remaining healthcare workers alongside vaccinating over 60s. We will also be bringing online 17 more public vaccinations sites, meaning we will have 36 public vaccination sites. Four (4) additional private sites at Medi Clinic hospitals will also come online while the Rural teams will commence with outreaches to Old Age Homes. This means that for this coming week there will be 36 public and 11 private vaccination sites operating.
Already operating sites:
- Brooklyn Chest Hospital
New Southern and Western vaccination sites to come online:
- Mamre CDC
- DP Marais Hospital
- Lady Michaelis CDC
- Lotus River CDC
- New Somerset Hospital
- Hope Street Dental
Private sites at Clicks stores:
- Blue Route
If you have not registered, you can do so in any one of the following ways:
- Visit www.westerncape.gov.za and click on the link
- Dial *134*832# and follow the prompts (FREE on all South African Networks)
- Whatsapp the word REGISTER to 0600 123456.
You will get an SMS confirming your registration has been successful.
When will I be vaccinated?
A second SMS will follow, with an appointment date, time, and the place you are to be vaccinated, as well as a unique code. Residents who have registered and still waiting for their second SMS, please do not worry. We expect most people who have registered to start getting their SMS in 1 to 2 weeks. We urge residents to take up their invitation to be vaccinated the first time they receive their invitation SMS.
Where will I be vaccinated?
You will attend the vaccination site selected by EVDS, based on the address you provide, which will be confirmed via the second SMS sent to you. Each vaccination site has a geographic catchment area. Residents who were among the first to register after the registration date opened may find that if they live in an area where a site has not yet been launched, can expect to wait a bit longer than others who live closer to existing vaccination sites, even if they have registered later.
What happens after I am vaccinated?
You will receive a “Proof of vaccination card” once you are vaccinated. If you receive a two-dose vaccine, an appointment date for your second dose will be issued to you via SMS. You will then return to the vaccination site for your follow-up shot.
What do I need to take with me?
Your identity document or passport and your unique code.
We encourage residents to arrive on the scheduled day of your booking, not on a different day. Walk-ins are not permitted.
Can I choose my vaccine?
No, you can’t. At present only the Pfizer/BioNTech double-dose vaccine is being administered. There is no cost involved when administered by WCGH facilities. There may be a cost for private patients and advise that patients check with their respective medical aid providers.
What do I do if I missed my appointment?
If you missed your appointment date, don’t worry. All unredeemed vaccination vouchers will remain open on the database. The system will then generate a second appointment date, venue and time. If you unfortunately miss this appointment, the system will generate a third invitation. Should you miss your third appointment, the system will close your registration and you will need to contact 0800 029 999.
For any enquiries regarding the vaccine, please call the Provincial hotline on 0860 142 142 between 08:00 and 16:00 or leave a message and we will call you back
If you reside in the Southern and Western Health district, contact the Local Southern and Western Vaccinations Helpdesk on 021 202 0914 or email SWSS.VaccinationsHelpdesk@westerncape.gov.za between 09:00 and 15:00 (Mondays – Fridays).
Principal Communications Officer: Southern Western Sub-structures
Department of Health
Western Cape Government
Address: Southern and Western Sub Structure Office: Cnr White and Main Roads, Retreat
Tel: 021 202 0947
Mobile: 081 277 0516