Limpopo Premier Chupu Mathabatha has reiterated government’s commitment to protecting the elderly from the deadly COVID-19 virus during the provincial launch of the vaccination self-registration campaign.
Mathabatha, who publicly registered for his jab on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS), said the day signified another milestone in government’s unwavering commitment to tackling the pandemic.
“The hallmark of a caring government is to protect first the most vulnerable. The vaccination of this section of the society will also begin with registration just like with the rest,” Mathabatha said on Wednesday.
Health Minister, Dr Zweli Mkhize, officially opened the COVID-19 vaccine online registration for the public on Friday, starting with those who are aged 60 and above.
“We are indeed making strides in the rollout of South Africa’s biggest vaccination drive. Standing here today, we can proudly say to ourselves that indeed, we are on course,” said Mathabatha.
He told the residents of Ga-Mphahlele village that the country is expecting to wrap up its first phase soon, which focused on healthcare workers.
Those who are aged 60 and older will follow the first phase, as they are classified as among the most susceptible to COVID-19 morbidity and mortality.
“The process of registration will ensure that government achieves its objective of distributing the vaccine among all its qualifying citizens equitably,” Mathabatha said.
The Premier urged all qualifying sections of society to vaccinate against COVID-19, as government works tirelessly to achieve herd immunity.
“Here, we will have a certain percentage of people, who will be vaccinated, such that the virus can no longer spread in communities. Hence, we must assist our elderly people to register to vaccinate.”
The Premier said he has instructed the MEC of Health, Dr Phophi Ramathuba, to come up with strategies to ensure easy access for the elderly who live in rural areas and townships, and may not have the internet.
“The MEC has promised me that in the few coming weeks, her department will announce facilities which will serve as registration sites for those who cannot register themselves,” said Ramathuba.
Limpopo will use the services of community healthcare workers to go door-to-door to register those who live far from these sites.
“Our community healthcare workers are currently being trained to undertake this mammoth but noble duty,” said Ramathuba.
She pleaded with youngsters to assist pensioners to register.
“We need to emphasise that it is important to register in advance because only those who are registered on the EVDS will be allowed to receive the vaccine.”
On Monday, Mkhize said 343 420 senior citizens have already registered on the EVDS.