WATCH | Desmond Tutu gets a jab as Phase 2 vaccine rollout gets underway in Western Cape

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  • Western Cape Premier Alan Winde says he is relieved that the vaccine rollout has finally arrived.
  • The Cape Town metro has identified seven vaccination sites for the first week of Phase 2 of the rollout.
  • Among those who received the vaccine on Monday was Archbishop Emiritus Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah. 

The Western Cape government breathed a sigh of relief on Monday as Phase 2 of the Covid-19 vaccine rollout got under way at the Brooklyn Chest Hospital in Cape Town.

Premier Alan Winde said he was relieved that the day of the vaccine rollout had finally arrived.

"I began getting frustrated with the slow pace of the vaccine rollout, but the day has finally arrived. Over the last year, the Covid-19 pandemic has taken away so much from so many people across our Province. Many families in the Western Cape have had to mourn the death of someone they love," he said.

Winde said, while the road still seemed long, this was the first step.

Desmond Tutu
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu visits the Brooklyn Hospital Centre vaccination site on May 17. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)

"I am confident that this is finally going to change. Today, hope is making a comeback. Of course, this is just one step, and there is still a long road ahead of us. But it is an important moment because we finally start a real fightback against Covid-19."

In the Cape Town metro, seven vaccination sites have been identified for Phase 2 vaccination sites in the first week.

ROLLING COVERAGE | Vaccination drive: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and wife Leah receive their shots

As part of the next phase of delivery to the Western Cape, the first allocation of 30 420 vaccines had been delivered and rolled out.

Phase 2 of the rollout explicitly targets people over the age of 60.

Among those who received the vaccine on Monday was Archbishop Emiritus Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah.

Tutu appeared to be in good spirits and managed a quick waved at the media before his jab.

He said that he and his wife had signed up to receive the vaccine a while back because they knew it would help save their loved ones.

"All my life, I have tried to do the right thing, and today, getting vaccinated against Covid-19 is definitely the right thing to do. That’s why Leah and I took this step, to do our part to start the national healing process so we can end this pandemic."

The Western Cape's plan is to focus on vaccinating people at old age homes during this week, and then bring more sites on board gradually. Most people who have registered should start getting the SMSes in the next two to three weeks, the department said.

The plan is to have 70 metro and 204 rural sites up and running soon, and complete vaccinations of those older than 60 by the end of June.

READ | Covid-19: Each jab will cost between R280 and R308

Provincial health department head Dr Keith Cloete said they were working hard to register as many over-60s as possible.

"The Department will work as fast as we can to enable good access to vaccination to all our citizens, starting with the most vulnerable. We urge all members of the community and partners to help us to register and vaccinate the elderly to protect them from severe illness ahead of the third wave of Covid-19."

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