The North West has identified 21 COVID-19 vaccination sites as the country gears up to roll out its vaccination programme.
This was revealed by North West Premier, Professor Job Mokgoro, during a briefing on Monday, in which he outlined the province’s vaccine rollout plan.
The 21 sites, said Mokgoro, were in the final stages of preparation and a compliance check is underway.
The President, accompanied by Deputy President David Mabuza, will today receive South Africa’s first consignment of the COVID-19 vaccine at OR Tambo International Airport. The first shipment of one million doses of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine from the Serum Institute of India (SII) left the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai on Sunday.
South Africa is rolling out inoculation in three phases, with healthcare workers vaccinated in the first phase. The second phase will include essential workers, teachers, the elderly and those with co-morbidities. The third phase will then include other adults in the population.
Mokgoro said the North West has ensured that vaccination sites are able to administer 500 doses per day, made of 10 doses per vial (with 50 vials per box).
“A box must be used up on the same day it is opened, as the vaccine is light sensitive. We have ensured training of our human resource and this included supervision once we begin vaccination. Vaccinators have been allocated and are undergoing training.”
The Premier said vaccination site curators have also been appointed and staff pre-registration commenced on 27 January 2021.
Facility-based vaccination of personnel at health facilities and establishments, said Mokgoro, will be done in three phases according to high, medium and low risk units.
“In all cases, vaccination will to start with Implementing Team Members about seven days before rollout, as they stand to be exposed to huge numbers of people.
“The vaccine rollout plan is based on current available information and will continuously be updated. We also have in place systems to minimise vaccine wastage,” said the Premier.
The vaccination system will be based on pre-vaccination registration and appointment system for vaccination, and records of all who are vaccinated.
All vaccinated persons are expected to be listed on the national register and will be provided with a vaccination card.
He said the provincial rollout coordinating team will oversee the rollout, including both the public and private sectors.
Vaccination sites will have an observation area where persons who have been vaccinated will be observed for 15 minutes for any side effects.
The vaccines in transit will also be safe guarded.
In terms of data management, a national data system has been set up for monitoring vaccine uptake and coverage, prioritisation, planning, safety monitoring and vaccine effectiveness studies.
To meet the anticipated needs of stakeholders, Mokgoro said an electronic vaccination data system (EVDS) has been developed.
Mokgoro said the North West has developed a communication and social mobilisation strategy aimed at ensuring that all citizens are informed about the vaccine and rollout plan.
However, he emphasised that a lot of work still needs to be done to dispel misconceptions and fears regarding the vaccination process.