Almost 2000 healthcare workers gearing towards administering COVID-19 vaccine
On Tuesday 2 February, the first of 1 995 vaccinators from all corners of the health system in the Western Cape will start receiving training towards administering the COVID-19 vaccine.
The training will equip them with adequate knowledge and skills to ensure safe and efficient COVID-19 vaccine administration. The number of vaccinators will grow daily as more HCWs are added to the registration database to receive training. These vaccinators are the backbone of our vaccination programme and will be a major asset in ensuring that as many people as possible are reached within the shortest possible time, with safety and due process at the heart of the roll out.
The COVID-19 pandemic, and the upcoming COVID 19 vaccine roll out, have presented the health system with unique challenges, necessitating the upskilling of many healthcare workers in a short period. The Western Cape Department of Health has, in response, launched its biggest ever training intervention, which includes healthcare workers from the department, City of Cape Town, non-government organisations and private sector.
The training programme includes a virtual online training package and is geared towards self-directed learning followed by weekly virtual update sessions which are accredited by the National Department of Health (NDOH). Once they have completed the training, their accreditation will be confirmed, and they will be added to the central vaccinator register to administer the vaccine.
The number of vaccinators that need to be trained is determined by the NDOH - one vaccinator can vaccinate between 40 to 50 people per day. It is estimated that 414 vaccinators are required for phase one. As the number of people needing to be vaccinated increases in phases 2 and 3, our number of vaccinators will also increase.
Healthcare workers have years of training, experience, and knowledge on administering vaccines. Therefore, the focus of this training will be on specific information related to the COVID-19 vaccine – including the handling, storage, research, product information, data management and reporting aspects of this vaccine.
The magnitude of the training programme and the importance of ensuring skilled service providers at the frontline created an opportunity to collaborate with multiple stakeholders across the health platform such as private groups, NGOs and community health workers.
The Western Cape is fully geared up to begin vaccine roll out as soon as the vaccines enter our province. We look forward to this next step in fighting the battle against COVID-19.