Western Cape Health authorities say the province has strong logistical systems in place for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines.
On inspection of the Cape Medical Depot from where all vaccines will be distributed in the province, the leadership outlined the way forward.
The province says the meticulous and careful work of distribution and administration of vaccines will begin shortly.
The vaccines are currently undergoing verification in Bloemfontein, thereafter hundreds of thousands of doses will be sent to the various provinces.
The Western Cape’s initial allocated 35 000 doses are expected in the province next week.
The first batch of the vaccine arrived from India on Monday.
President Cyril Ramaphosa receives first consignment of COVID-19 vaccines:
After release from Bloemfontein, it will be sent to the Biovac facility and after further verification, to the Cape Medical Depot.
All vaccines in the province will be allocated to the 378 vaccination sites for the public sector.
Pharmacy services Kim Lowenherz says: “Each delivery of vaccines will come with an accompanying package of needles, swabs and syringes. So if there are 10 vaccines that are delivered, 100 doses, then we will make sure 100 of the medical consumables are sent with the vaccines.”
An estimated 130 000 healthcare workers, including students, will be offered the vaccine in the first phase.
Each person has to take two doses of the Covishield vaccine, three weeks apart.
“In three weeks after the first distribution date, we will send the same quantity of vaccines to the same sites. So it’s not something the facilities need to specifically remember to order, we will send it on automatically.”
Tracking the administration of vaccines will be a mammoth task. Vaccination cards are one of the tools that will be used.
Public health medicine specialist Professor Mary-Ann Davies says: “The electronic vaccine data system that has been put in place by national where you can already go and register for your vaccine will record at the time of vaccination, which vaccine you receive, so we can look up which vaccine you received and give you the same dose.”
Two doses of the same vaccine are prescribed. Almost 2000 vaccinators, who will administer vaccines, started training in the province this week.