Western Cape aims to vaccinate its 720 000 over-60 residents by end of June - Premier Winde

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Used vials of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, in a box.
Used vials of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine, in a box.
Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images
  • The Western Cape health department is gearing up to resume vaccinations of healthcare workers.
  • The Sisonke trial is expected to resume on Wednesday.
  • Following the trial, the province will look to vaccinate 720 000 residents by June. 

With vaccinations resuming on Wednesday, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has urged those over 60 to register for their jabs.

Vaccinations of healthcare workers are due to resume in the province from Wednesday under the Sisonke trial. The rollout was suspended on Tuesday 13 April, following six reported cases of rare blood clots in the USA (out of 6.6 million vaccinations).

"It has been confirmed that were no instances of rare blood clots in South Africa among healthcare workers already vaccinated. The J&J vaccine has since been found safe to use following careful consideration by SAHPRA and related bodies," said Winde.

Once the rollout to healthcare workers is complete, the province will focus on administering doses to residents older than 60 – of which there are 720 000 in the province.

READ | Covid-19 loan guarantee scheme extended by three months

"We are preparing to scale up our vaccination programme during April to complete Phase 1 (all healthcare workers). This will be supported by the expected arrival of 325 560 doses of the J&J vaccine in South Africa before 17 May 2021," he said.

Phase 2 of the vaccine strategy is set to start on 17 May, with both Pfizer and J&J vaccines being used.

"Our approach to the rollout of vaccines is according to age, starting with our oldest residents first," said Winde.

As of Monday, 53 507 vaccines had been administered and the province had 2 027 active Covid-19 infections. A total of 283 398 people have been infected to date and the province’s death toll stands at 11 601.

Vaccination

The provincial health department was aiming to complete the vaccination of those over 60 by the end of June, said Winde.

"Once most of this age band has been vaccinated, we will push to have the EVDS system opened to lower age bands. We will ensure, through a strong communication campaign, that residents are aware of the opening of the system to younger residents," he said.

Meanwhile, the City of Cape Town has urged older residents to register for their vaccines at public facilities, should they not have access to smart devices or data.

"While the electronic vaccine data system (EVDS) is now open for elderly residents, the City is cognisant of the barriers that exist. Many of our elderly do not have internet-enabled devices, while the registration process may seem cumbersome and confusing. To help ensure equitable access to the vaccine, we encourage registration using the City’s facilities and especially our libraries," said the City’s Mayco Member for Community Services and Health Zahid Badroodien.

The City is currently investigating further interventions which could assist in easing registration and once confirmed, these would be communicated, said Badroodien.

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