Limpopo province is set to receive 44,526 doses of the South Africa’s first one million Covid-19 vaccine delivery, the premier said.

Doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine will be administered to frontline healthcare workers. The province has already identified 39 sites where the process will take place, Premier Chupu Stanley Mathabatha said. The province has also hired extra security guards to ensure the safety of the more than two hundred healthcare workers who will be administering the doses.

“Our infrastructure, systems and controls here in Limpopo are ready for the rollout of Covid-19 vaccine,” said Mathabatha.

The 44,526 doses were allocated to health workers according to an analysis by the National Department of Health using their Personnel System or ‘Persal,’ said the province’s Health MEC, Dr Phophi Ramathuba.

“These are the employees within the department of health,” said Ramathuba.

Six thousand short

There will, however, be shortfall of slightly over six thousand and some staff will not receive the vaccine immediately.

“But you will note that we are saying that we are not only 44,526 because they are people who are contracted for instance our security guards, they are working with patients because when you arrive at our facilities the first person you come to contact with are the security guards,” said Ramathuba.

Other healthcare workers including those who are employed by non-profit organisations are also missing from the list.

“We also have those who are working with the Red Cross and NGOs that are supporting us as we have got nurses that are employed by them,” said the MEC. “We have got quite a number which we estimated and we did the stats and it comes to around six thousand.”

“We have already made a submission that we are short,” Ramathuba added.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health and provincial authorities are still finalising rollout plans for their provinces.

Online registration

Premier Mathabatha has reminded those healthcare workers eligible for the vaccine to register online in order to secure their place.

“This system will also be part of the consent procedures and risk assessment,” said the premier. “Limpopo has the capacity to vaccinate all the phase one population within a period of two to three weeks.”

The three phrase rollout will start with frontline health workers in both the public and private sectors, Mathabatha explained. The second phase will see high-risk groups such as those over the age of 60 and those living in congregated spaces vaccinated. This phase will also include essential workers and adults living with comorbidities.

Mathabatha warned that there are some who still believe the virus is a myth and the vaccine is a bad thing.

“The vaccine is currently one of the most trusted solutions as we march towards social and economic recovery,” he said. “Coronavirus has so far destroyed economies and livelihoods. This invisible virus has caused more deaths in our communities, resulted in joblessness and negatively impacted all in our livelihoods.”

“The sooner we dispel the myth by the prophets of doom who are opposed to the use of the vaccine, the better,” said Mathabatha. “I am making a clarion call to all of you to be deterred and appreciate the vaccination process.” —Health-e News