How vaccine roll-out got its boost

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The US will ship millions of doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to South Africa and Nigeria. Photo: iStock
The US will ship millions of doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to South Africa and Nigeria. Photo: iStock


Cooperation between the private sector and government on the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccination programme has been a huge success, with more than 200 000 jabs now administered daily.

The programme is being ramped up as more and more vaccination sites are prepared by private businesses and mines, according to Business for SA (B4SA) and the Minerals Council SA.

B4SA steering committee chairperson Martin Kingston said they anticipated that 80% of the country’s adults (30 million people) would have received their jabs by the end of October – before the fourth wave of Covid-19 infections hit the country – and that more than 50% of the 35- to 49-year-old group (11 million people) would have received their first dose by the end of this month, assuming that the private sector opened its vaccination sites six days a week.

“This is a tremendous acceleration in the throughput of the vaccination programme, which is really predicated on the fact that we’re bringing many sites on stream since we’ve been able to address vaccine supply constraints,” said Kingston.

He said that 7 million doses of vaccines had already been administered and 8.5 million people had registered to be inoculated, adding that 31 million Johnson & Johnson and 31.3 million Pfizer doses had been secured.

READ: Malema claims Ramaphosa will benefit from delays with mass vaccination

Other achievements of the public-private partnership, he said, were:
  • There was a one-data planning model across the sectors, where both medically insured and non-insured people had access to private sites for their doses;
  • There was increased ease of access to vaccines such as walk-ins, self-scheduling and bulk uploads on the electronic vaccination data system; and
  • Sufficient vaccines for the entire eligible population had been secured and age-based prioritisation had been accepted.

Kingston said that the total capacity could rise to 500 000 jabs a day at sites excluding mobile services.

“We’ve installed capacity already, let alone latent capacity, which is coming through,” he said.

The private sector, he said, would be able to administer 300 000 doses a day before the onset of the fourth wave. He added that 121 000 jabs were already being administered on private sites each day, 175 000 were on the brink of coming through and 205 000 were administered daily in the public sector.

There were currently 57 of 150 sites operating in the mining, retail, automotive and manufacturing, finance, taxi, and telecommunications sectors, said Kingston.

The mining sector had confirmed that a further 19 sites would be open within two weeks in rural and peri-urban areas.

READ: Ramaphosa sounds alarm over ‘vaccine apartheid’

Minerals Council SA CEO Roger Baxter said that the mining workforce, as well as their families, were getting their jabs in the mining communities.

Baxter said the mining sector had been using its health infrastructure and delivery capacity to lend a hand in the vaccination roll-out programme.

The sector, he said, was currently administering 13 000 doses a day, but had the capacity to ramp this up to 21 000 day. There were 69 sites, 29 of which had been approved so far.

“This is a remarkable outcome and we can achieve more through a proper ecosystem of cooperation. We have to pedal in the same direction,” said Baxter.


Sizwe sama Yende 


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