- Dis-Chem has been piloting its vaccine rollout for its healthcare workers and the elderly at its head office in Midrand.
- Dis-Chem plans to open five sites in Gauteng on Tuesday and another five sites a week later.
- Only those registered on the government's Electronic Vaccination Data System with a voucher code for a booking will be vaccinated.
Dis-Chem Pharmacies announced on Sunday that it would begin the rollout of its dedicated vaccination sites this week, as South Africa braces for the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic's third wave in the country.
The pharmacy group said in a statement released on Sunday that the group had been piloting its vaccine rollout for its healthcare workers and the elderly at its head office in Midrand, Johannesburg recently.
The announcement from Dis-Chem comes as Minister of Health Zweli Mkhize announced on Saturday that South Africa registered 4236 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the total of identified positive cases to 1 632 572 and 53 new deaths, which bring the total deaths to 55 772.
The announcement also sets a tone for private businesses chipping in to assist government in its intervention to turn the corner on the pandemic, which prompted a lockdown that brought a halt to various industries last year and battered the economy.
Dis-Chem said it planned to open five sites in Gauteng on Tuesday. The statement said another five sites would be opened a week later "in coastal locations" in "a staggered manner".
"The five sites are in Centurion, Mall of the South, Jabulani, East Rand Mall and Fourways Mall. The vaccination sites are not situated in Dis-Chem pharmacies but are located in the malls with clear posters and signage," the statement said.
The statement said Dis-Chem expected new stock of the vaccines to be delivered on Monday, as all vaccine sites relied on supply of vaccines by the Department of Health. The statement said no vaccine deliveries were made over the weekend.
"The trial week at head office, where over 3 500 vaccinations were done, provided the group with valuable learnings which will ensure full readiness across other sites to offer a complete and well-organised vaccine experience," the statement said.
The statement said only those registered on the government's Electronic Vaccination Data System with a voucher code with details for a scheduled booking with a date and time will be vaccinated.
"Everyone is required to bring proof of identification and medical scheme membership, if applicable, with them to the vaccination site," the statement concluded.
Earlier on this month, Gqeberha-born, United States-based billionaire Dr Patrick Soon-Shiong announced at a meeting of the World Health Organisation that he would commit R3 billion to transfer technology to allow for local vaccine production.