Creating access to vaccines by partnering with the Southern Mail Wynberg Market
In an effort to make vaccination even more accessible, Western Cape Government Health partnered with the Southern Mail Wynberg Family and Lifestyle Market by providing a pop-up vaccination service during the course of the four-day festival. The festival, held at the Maynardvile park in Wynberg, started on Thursday, 3 March and ends on Sunday, 6 March. Festival goers visiting the pop-up site described the vaccination service as convenient, effective and well worth the visit.
Chief of Operations for Western Cape Government Health, Dr Saadiq Kariem, shares, “The Department of Health has set up a mobile vaccination site at the Wynberg festival for the entire duration of the festival. Thus far we have had people present for their primary series vaccination as well as for their booster vaccinations. I would like to encourage people to take full advantage of this opportunity to get vaccinated as its part of the Departments strategy to make vaccination as easy and accessible as possible.”
William van Der Linde (38) received his booster and shared, “I care about others and my own life. It’s not easy to see a loved one lose their life due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away due to COVID-19. For some people this virus can be fatal.”
Luqmaan Riby (33) visited the festival with this family and took up the opportunity to get vaccinated. “I know some people are sceptical, but I want to keep my family safe.” Luqmaan’s partner, Alyssa Hermans (27), shares, “I am fearful; however, I lost a very close relative due to COVID-19 before we had access to the vaccine. I know this will help keep my family safe.”
Dr Ebrahim Kriel, vaccine lead for the Southern and Western substructure says, “We want to ensure that we create opportunities for people to have greater access to the vaccine. We are so aware from our engagement with people that it is often difficult to access sites due to work or school commitments. Both the Johnson and Johnson and Pfizer vaccines are now available for primary vaccinations and for booster vaccinations. It is true that we are out of the fourth wave, however the vaccine remains one of the best ways to continue spreading COVID-19 and to limit the extend of the next wave. Young people are back at school full time, playing sport and our communities have more opportunities to socialise” says Dr Kriel. “Let’s maintain this return to normality and stay safe by getting vaccinated.”
Cape Town Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis also popped in and received his booster on Saturday, 5 March at the festival. “I got my SMS on Monday and have been meaning to go for my booster shot the whole week. Thankfully today the vaxi taxi was right here at the festival. And that’s the point of creating increased opportunities to access vaccines. You go to people and provide them the opportunity to get vaccinated where they are. It was easy, took two minutes to get my shot and it was done. I think it’s really important for everyone to get vaccinated if they have not been vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, come and get your booster shot. This the only way to get over this pandemic and get awesome events like this festival going again.”
Another festival goer who used the opportunity to get vaccinated, is Ryan Franke (18), who received his second Pfizer shot. “I decided to get vaccinated because I don’t want to get severely ill with COVID-19.”
Dion and Dannie Eaby-Lomas found the service on-site easy and very convenient. “We realised we needed to bide some time while waiting for the ATM machine to start operating, and thought why not get boosted while we wait!”
Elecia Daniels (54) had four of her grandchildren watching with baited breath as she received her booster. “My mother took me for my immunisations when I was younger. As a family we believe in the health of our country. I need to set the example for my grandchildren and children.”
The Vaxi Taxi will continue to be utilised in community outreaches going forward. We encourage community members who have not yet taken the opportunity to get vaccinated or to get their booster dose to visit the Western Cape Government Health Facebook page or website to keep track of when outreaches will be taking place in nearby areas.
The vaccine is safe, free, and might save your live or those of your loved ones.