Almost 150 000 vaccinations done for the week!
Thursday saw the opening of the registration portals to those 35-49 years old to register for the COVID-19 vaccine. We understand the excitement of the new eligible age bracket to register, and while we only planned to start vaccination of this group 1 August, we will not turn anyone away who has a valid appointment SMS, providing we can accommodate them.
Even though appointments of 35-49-year old will be honoured, we are not able to guarantee these clients can be vaccinated on the day if they walk-in, given the supplies that we have in hand. We ask for your patience and understanding.
Our priority remains vaccinating those over 60. This age group is our most vulnerable and we need to do everything we can to protect them, by ensuring their immune system can fight off severe illness by being vaccinated.
The EVDS system will continue to allocate available appointment slots in the following order of priority:
Priority 1 - people 60 years and older requiring their 1st dose of Pfizer vaccine;
Priority 2 - people 60 years and older requiring their 2nd dose of Pfizer vaccine;
Priority 3 - people aged 50 -59 years requiring their 1st dose of Pfizer vaccine;
Priority 4 – people aged 35-49 years with a valid appointment SMS, requiring their 1st dose of Pfizer vaccine.
As usual, a limited number of walk-ins (over 60s will be prioritized) will be accommodated at the vaccination sites. Not all vaccination sites will have equal capacity on the day to tend to all appointments or walk ins, and our total vaccinations will be guided by local demand at that specific site.
How is our vaccination programme performing this week (12 – 16 July)
Our vaccinations teams have been increasing the number of vaccines administered every day and have pushed very hard to reach, and sustain, the daily target of 30 000 over the last 3 days of the week.
Vaccinations administered on:
Monday – 23 379
Tuesday – 27 296
Wednesday – 30 005
Thursday – 33 206
Friday – 33 189
Total vaccinations for the week = 147 075
Provincial Vaccination Programme performance
To date, we have vaccinated 779 698 people as part of the National vaccination programme, including health workers (as part of the Sisonke trial) and educators.
How are we reaching these numbers
The Department has identified several areas where there is low registration and uptake of vaccination. We are working with a range of partners to on innovative initiatives through which we can take vaccines to the vulnerable communities, making vaccination easier accessible for them. In addition to the various outreaches and community mobilization drives, this week saw the introduction of several other out-of-the-box ideas being implemented and reaping great rewards.
- Weekend vaccinations in dedicated areas;
- “Boots on the Ground drives” where mobile pop-up vaccination stations are set up;
- Repurpose the Mobile Wellness bus’s function, which is used for our school health programmes, to do outreach vaccinations to vulnerable outlying communities;
- Partnering with the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to assist with registration and vaccinations at BOXER stores; and
- Working with the Cipla Foundation to deploy innovative, movable vaccination stations into various local communities
The innovative initiatives have already had a positive impact, not only on increase numbers but also impacted positively on our clients’ experiences when going to any of these sites or outreaches.
What to expect next week (19 - 23 July)
On Friday, 16 July, we received 58 500 vaccines. These vaccines, along with the remaining doses from last week, will enable us to have the capacity to administer 30 000 vaccinations per day and 150 000 for the week. The public can again expect approximately 200 active public health vaccination sites across the province – this excludes the outreaches services.
Call on eligible age groups
We urge any citizen 60 years and older who has not registered, or have not received an appointment, to please go to their closest public vaccination site for assisted registration and vaccination. The first dose for 60-year and older remains the highest priority at the moment.