Mkhize: SA will 'start small' with vaccinating over 60s from Monday

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People over 60 who have registered to receive the vaccine on the government’s system will soon receive a message to schedule their appointments, reports Daily Maverick.

In a separate statement, the national Department of Health confirmed that more than 400,000 healthcare workers have been vaccinated as part of Sisonke study.

In its daily Covid statistics statement, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, confirmed that under the Sisonke Protocol, 414 372 healthcare workers have received their Covid-19 jab.

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said the Pfizer vaccine will be distributed to the provinces on 12 and 13 May. “We will start small on May 17,” he said, adding that he hoped the rollout could be at full strength by the end of August and September.

People who registered to receive the Covid-19 vaccine will soon receive a message to schedule their appointments and will be given advance notice, said Mkhize's spokesperson, Dr Lwazi Manzi.

She said the first Pfizer vaccines will be done after 15 May and they were still waiting for an audit of the Johnson & Johnson vaccines to be concluded at the Aspen Pharmacare site. A list of approved vaccination sites will be published this week.

“The number of vaccination sites will change according to the amount of stock that we have and need and there is no fixed number. We will publish the list weekly and people will be able to see which sites are activated or deactivated,” she said.

Mkhize said a decision had been taken in some areas that vaccinators will go into old age homes to administer the vaccine to residents but in other areas, the elderly will have to go to the vaccination sites.

Mkhize said South Africa was “technically” not experiencing a third wave of coronavirus outbreaks yet but the Free State had a sufficient surge of cases to be in a third wave. He said an increase in infections in the Northern Cape is still part of an ongoing second wave in that province. Mkhize added that while there was an increase in cases in Gauteng it was not high enough to qualify for a third wave.

“In the rest of the country the number of cases are still very small,” he said.


Full Daily Maverick report (Open access)

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