Athlone Stadium ‘Vaccination Centre of Hope’ one of the biggest vaccine sites
Today, the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Government launched the walk-in section of the Athlone Stadium mass site - our second ‘Vaccination Centre of Hope’. This will be followed by the launch of the drive-through component of the site in two weeks’ time.
This project is a partnership between the two governments for the benefit of the residents of Cape Town, to enable both, insured and uninsured residents, easy access to vaccinations.
At full capacity the site will be able to administer over 4000 vaccines a day through both its walk-in and drive-through sections, making it as big as the CTICC ‘Vaccination Centre of Hope’ and one of the biggest in the province.
Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde said that this demonstrates the province’s commitment to a vaccination programme based on fairness, access and equity.
“The philosophy of fairness and equity underlines the opening of the Athlone Vaccination Centre of Hope at the Athlone Stadium, which will bring a mass vaccination site closer to residents of the Cape Flats, while providing an efficient, well-run service. Every life matters, and so every person must have access to these life-saving vaccines. It doesn’t matter where you live, or what you earn” said the Premier.
‘We are very pleased to make one of our major facilities available to the Western Cape Government, who continue to make great progress in in this critical vaccine rollout. This is another example of the great progress that can be made when different spheres of government work together for the benefit of residents. As a fully-vaccinated resident myself, I encourage all residents living in the surrounding areas to please make use of this facility and get the jab as soon as possible’, said Cape Town Executive Mayor Dan Plato.
The Athlone Stadium was chosen as it is easily accessible, via all forms of transport, to the broader Klipfontein community and serves a large majority of the uninsured population in the Cape Metro. In addition, the stadium is also very well known to the Cape Town community and resonates with the people of the Cape Flats such as Gugulethu, Nyanga, Heideveld, Hanover Park, Athlone and Manenberg.
‘The City’s Strategic Assets department has been instrumental in ensuring that the venue is ready and fit for purpose to fulfil this very important function. In doing so, it has worked closely with other City departments and the Western Cape Government, and I applaud the efforts of everyone involved. Among the preparations were ensuring internet connectivity, furnishings, storage for vaccines and emergency evacuation protocols. The City looks forward to welcoming thousands of residents to the stadium for their vaccinations,’ said City Manager, Lungelo Mbandazayo.
This walk-through service will have 40 vaccination stations while the drive-through services will have five lanes. The drive-through will follow the same steps as a walk-through, with cars stopping at five stations, which will ensure that clients are successfully screened, registered, and vaccinated.
“Though the drive-through site will only be operational at the end of August, once operational, the site will be able to vaccinate almost 4000 people per day between the two service options. Though we continue to prioritise the over 60’s for their first and second dose, as we open up the last cohort (18–34-year-olds) we anticipate there will be a great demand to utilize this vaccination site by the younger age brackets” explained the Western Cape’s Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete.
The Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo concluded, “We look forward to having another mass site active as we embark on the next journey of our vaccination programme to ensure we vaccinate as many people, as quick as possible, to avert a fourth wave and to save lives and jobs. The vaccines are safe and offer great protection against severe illness requiring hospitalization and death and we encourage everyone to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated.”
Globally, drive-through services have proven to be more efficient than a walk-through service as there is less burden for social distancing because people are in their cars. This allows for families to continue protecting their bubble as they will arrive in a vehicle with their family members. The drive through is outdoors, in open space. This makes a drive through a safer option. International evidence also indicates that drive through services can be offered in a cost-effective manner.