The Phase 2 COVID-19 vaccination process has kicked off smoothly in the Tshwane region with around 4 000 elderly residents likely to be vaccinated by the end of this week. More than 80 old age homes have been earmarked for this phase. Traditional healers will also be accommodated for vaccination.

Tshwane chairperson for the vaccination programme, Modise Makutu, say although they have set targets, the numbers are seemingly growing.

“In Tshwane we are targeting 700 traditional healers with 51 registered. With regard to funeral parlours, over 2 000 is our target no indication as yet how many have registered. We were targeting 3 000 but the numbers have grown because we’ve seen people registering up to 4 000,” says Makutu.

Terrence Duurland (73) from the Holy Cross Old Aged Home at Suiderberg in Pretoria North was among the first senior citizens to take the shot. “It was fine. I didn’t feel the pain. I encourage all old people to take it without being afraid of anything. No pain I’m feeling fine, no problem,” says Duurland.

Over 4 000 senior citizens expected to get their COVID-19 vaccine on Monday:

Waiting with anticipation

Elderly residents at an old age home in Mahikeng, in the North West, are waiting with bated breath for their vaccinations.

The provincial department of health says close to 60 000 people over the age of 60 have registered for the shots across the province.

Gretchen Smith is a resident at the Rotarus Old Age Home.

“We waited a long time for this, with the numbers increasing day by day and the situation in India, I am very concerned. So I am not negative at all and to all those negative people I want to say that God has given those people the knowledge ” says Smith.

Vaccination in Mahikeng and four other areas is expected to commence on Tuesday. However, vaccination sites at Moses Kotane, Rustenburg, Brits, Potchefstroom and Klerksdorp started administering the shots on Monday.

Elderly urged to register

Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize, visited the Munsieville Centre for Aged, in Krugersdorp, Gauteng as part of the launch of phase two of government’s vaccination programme.

While 87 vaccination centres began operating on Monday, Mkhize has said this figure will increase in the coming weeks.

Mkhize has encouraged the elderly to register for vaccination.

“The co-morbidities are highest with people that are 60 and above, the next risky category is over 40 so if we target the 60 year old, then we are reducing the risk of sever infection, of death, of ICU. We will go to old age homes but we also have outreach programmes, there are many people to townships and villages who are not found in old age homes. There is collaboration with SASSA so we know how to target them” he says.

SABC News reporter Lerato Fekisi speaks to some Eastern Cape senior citizens on this: