Northern Cape ready for any eventuality during phase two of vaccine rollout, says health MEC

Northern Cape health MEC Maruping Lekwane on Sunday said he was concerned about the increasing number of Covid-19 infections in the province – this as the country kicks off phase two the national vaccination rollout on Monday.

2021-05-16 11:45:00 PM

Northern Cape health MEC Maruping Lekwane on Sunday said he was concerned about the increasing number of Covid-19 infections in the province – this as the country kicks off phase two the national vaccination rollout on Monday.

Northern Cape health MEC Maruping Lekwane on Sunday said he was concerned about the increasing number of Covid-19 infections in the province – this as the country kicks off phase two the national vaccination rollout on Monday.

Speaking during the launch of the phase two of the national vaccination programme, Lekwane said the province will be targeting the Frances Baard and Pixley kaSeme district municipalities.Additional systems have been put in place, including generators in case of load shedding and the province is in a position to adapt to any situation given any changes, said Lekwane.

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“We will be opening a minimum of 30 vaccination sites across the province, especially when the Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrives. For now we are only opening Kimberly for the start of phase 2,” he said adding that “it was all systems go to start the phase two of the vaccination programme.”

As of Saturday 15 May, the province had managed to vaccinate 77% of healthcare workers on the Sisonke implementation study.This means that only 9219 health care workers were vaccinated of the 15 000 that were targeted.“As a province we are ready to start the vaccination rollout programme tomorrow at 08:00 at Harmony Home which is our primary site in Kimberly.” headtopics.com

For this week, the province will only have Harmony Home as the primary vaccination site, this as it prepares to open another two sites at the end of the week.“Next week we are supposed to have five vaccination sites running fully.”On registration drive, Lekwane said a total of 11 000 over 60s have registered in the province.

There is a total of 3 897 over 60s that are based in the Kimberly’s Sol Plaatjie area.“By Saturday we received our first batch of the Pfizer vaccine and with these doses we will be able to vaccinate 3 510 of the 3 800 over 60s in the Sol Plaatjie in Kimberly.”

Northern Cape has trained 220 vaccinators of which 77 are in the Frances Baard District Municipality.“Our vaccinators have been trained and are ready to vaccinate so that our mass immunity can be achieved as soon as possible. This week we hope to complete over 60s in old age homes in the Sol Plaatjie Municipality.”

Thereafter the programme will be extended to people in congregate settings followed by those under 60s living with comorbidities, he said.In the meantime, Harmony Home will also be used vaccinate the remaining registered health care workers.On Monday mobile teams will be deployed to eight old age home in Sol Plaatjie and surrounding hospitals that have been targeted. headtopics.com

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Meanwhile, he said the registration drive was on track with door-to-door being conducted in various communities to create awareness.“The strategy has also been to ensure that the over 60s are not left behind when coming to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) so that we also assist our agents, this in the main has assist the province with vaccine hesitancy and correct the misinformation about the vaccines,” he said.

Capacity challenges within the Northern Cape's public healthcare system may be “a high risk factor” in the rollout of Phase two of the Covid-19 vaccination programme,” parliament's portfolio committee on health warned on Saturday.  “We are concerned that the province reported that they have just about 2,400 nurses to service the entire province. While we welcome the assurance that this represents a net increase as the province only had 1,700 nurses last year, we are concerned that this might negatively impact the ability to effectively implement the clearly planned vaccination programme,” said committee chair

Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.The committee is concerned that four of the five districts are currently led by acting district directors, who will be at the forefront of the implementation of the rollout of the vaccination programme, it was earlier reported.* On a question if it was true that issues with the electronic system was to blame for the sms's not being sent to people, and what is the risk of compromise, the department said there is no truth to rumours that the system collapsed. Instead, it said, there was a transition from one system to another as the country moved out of the Sisonke trial.

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