Government is putting all systems in place to roll out a large scale vaccination programme, once the country receives COVID-19 vaccines from manufacturers.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said this when responding to questions In the National Assembly on Thursday.
“A wide range of vaccination sites has been identified.
“These include, among others, primary health care clinics, community pharmacies, general practitioners, public and private hospitals, and travel clinics.
“Vaccinations will also be done by mobile teams at mass vaccination sites set up at conference centres and other facilities, and in some workplaces such as government departments, mines and factories.
“All vaccination sites must meet certain legislative requirements and go through an accreditation process.
“By the end of April, the Department of Health had enrolled 3 357 accredited vaccination sites.”
The President said a comprehensive logistics and supply chain plan is in place. This includes all supply chain preparations and activities from when the vaccine arrives in the country, until it is made available for vaccination at each site.
A critical part of this is an effective cold chain to maintain the safety and efficacy of the vaccine, match demand with supply, and enable the tracing and tracking of vaccines.
“The Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS) is the backbone of the vaccination programme. It provides an end-to-end solution that is used to digitally capture each event in the vaccination process and provides data to monitor all vaccinations administered.
“Every person to be vaccinated will need to register and will receive details of the date and timeslot for vaccination,” President Ramaphosa said.
For many South Africans who do not have access to the internet, both digital and walk-in systems will be used for registration. Callers may also register on a toll free helpline.
The President said provision has been made for alternative capturing of a unique identifier for individuals who do not have an identity document.
“The magnitude of the COVID-19 vaccination programme requires dedicated staff at national, provincial and district levels.
“Based on the experience of Phase 1, staffing requirements and norms for vaccination sites have been estimated to guide planning, budgeting and recruitment.
“These norms may vary, depending on the specifics of particular sites,” he said.
The President said government is committed to ensuring that every person 18 years and older will be able to be vaccinated, free at the point of vaccination.
He said the costs will be covered from public funds for uninsured people and medical aids for those who are insured, as part of prescribed minimum benefits.
“This will be the first time in South Africa’s history that a national vaccination programme aimed at adults will be rolled out.
“It is an enormous undertaking that will require the support and cooperation of all parts of society.
“A comprehensive plan is in place, resources have been mobilised and a steady supply of vaccines has been procured, so that every adult should have the opportunity to be vaccinated.”