4 200 vaccines to be distributed at 87 sites on Day 1 of Phase 2 vaccination rollout

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  • More than 4 200 vaccines will be distributed to senior citizens on Monday.
  • The health department aims to vaccinate around five million residents over 60 by the end of June.
  • The vaccines will be distributed at 87 vaccination sites around the country.

On Monday, the start of the second phase of the country's vaccine rollout, 4 288 South Africans over 60 will be vaccinated at 87 vaccination sites, along with 7 707 healthcare workers.

These citizens will be invited to receive their vaccine by SMS on Sunday night.

The South African government is aiming to vaccinate five million citizens older than 60 by the end of June, "provided that the supply of vaccines flow as anticipated", Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said during a briefing on Sunday.

Mkhize said: 

We will continue to vaccinate healthcare workers and complete the targeted 1.2 million by the end of the week. We will also begin to vaccinate citizens 60 years and older, who are the most vulnerable for becoming ill or dying of Covid-19.

On Sunday, the country was scheduled to receive another 325 260 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, bringing the total Pfizer doses in the country to 975 780 by Monday morning.

"By end June we expect to have received 4.5 million doses of Pfizer and two million doses of J&J once released," he said.

READ | Scramble to get Covid-19 vaccinations right

Vaccines will be administered at 83 public sector sites and four private sectors, with most of the site concentrated in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. These are expected to increase to 200 by the end of the week, Mkhize said.

The following sites will be open on Monday:

- 18 sites in the Eastern Cape, which will increase to 25 by the end of the week;

- 29 vaccine sites in Gauteng, which will gradually increase to a full complement of 280 sites;

- In the Western Cape, outreach teams will primarily vaccinate people 60 years and older at old-age homes. A small number of elderly people will be contacted to go to one of seven vaccine sites in Cape Town which will be open this week;

- 27 sites will be operation in KwaZulu-Natal;

- Only six sites in Limpopo will open, due to a lack of cold storage facilities;

- Two sites will be operational in Free State;

- Six hospitals will be functioning as vaccination sites in Mpumalanga;

- North West will see five vaccination sites open on Monday; and

- Only one site will be operational in the Northern Cape this week, with two more expected to open next week.

Alongside the vaccination sites, all provinces will undertake outreach to old age homes.

"You will notice that the numbers will start fairly slowly over the course of the week then ramp up towards the end of the month. This is because we are starting off with a new vaccine we have never used before. We have learnt from Sisonke that the first few days start slowly as vaccinators get used to the new vaccine then once operators are comfortable the turnover ramps up significantly," he added.

Health officials will be visiting old age homes - they are targeting 7 707 senior citizens living in 102 facilities.

Mkhize said: 

50 000 citizens documented in old age homes will be completed by the end of May.

Of the five million citizens over 60, only 1.2 million have registered for vaccination. Combined with the 914 000 healthcare workers who have registered on EVDS, the total number of registered South Africans stands at 2.1 million.

READ | Covid-19: Another 2 750 cases recorded as govt gears up for vaccine rollout

"We recommend that as many people as possible register beforehand. For tomorrow we will not be able to accommodate walk-ins, however we will, going forward, be able to do so. The programme has been designed to avoid long queues. This is why it is important that as many people as possible register beforehand, and follow the instructions which they receive by SMS,” added Mkhize.

Mkhize added that vaccine doses not used in the Sisonke Programme - around 21 000 - would be used by the Medical Research Council to conduct further research.

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