The City of Cape Town and Discovery Health on Tuesday conducted an oversight visit at the Cape Town International Convention Centre mass Vaccination Centre of Hope to check on its preparation ahead of its activation today.
Between July and December this year, this mass vaccination centre is expected to administer over 750 000 vaccinations in Cape Town, playing a critical role in the Western Cape and South Africa’s vaccination programme.
The oversight visit was attended by the Premier of the Western Cape Alan Winde; Provincial Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo; Mayor of Cape Town, Dan Plato; Community Services & Health MMC in the City of Cape Town, Zahid Badroodien; Discovery Group Executive, Adrian Gore and Discovery Health CEO, Dr Ryan Noach.
A virtual tour was also conducted with the public and the media, who joined online, to help create awareness.
Winde said the Vaccination Centre of Hope is a pioneering collaboration that shows what is possible when the private and public sector work together.
“I am so proud to see this collaboration take shape, demonstrating what is possible when we work together with the private sector to deliver quality services to our residents. I hope this is the beginning of many more joint projects in this space.
“All eligible residents, whether they have a medical aid or not, will be assisted at this site. No person will be left behind because every life matters,” Winde said.
The City of Cape Town worked to make the site fully operational before handing it over to the Western Cape Government and Discovery Health.
The Western Cape government will be primarily responsible for overall coordination, supply of vaccines, clinical and facilities management, while Discovery Health will be responsible for client experience, various aspects of the technology solution and administrative functions.
Plato said he is looking forward to the site becoming operational, helping vaccinate hundreds of thousands of Capetonians across the city.
“The city, province and Discovery Health are ready to provide a significant boost to the vaccination campaign and we have urged national government to increase its procurement and rollout of vaccines so that more age groups can access the vaccine.
“I am proud of all the city officials who made this site a reality through intensive and time-pressured project management. The success of the COVID-19 vaccination drive relies on a joint effort between all stakeholders, including government, the private sector and our residents.
“An expanded and ramped up national vaccination rollout would bring an end to the need for further national lockdowns that harm livelihoods and impact the recovery of the economy. As a fully vaccinated resident myself, I encourage residents to come forward to receive the vaccine as soon as possible,” Plato said.
The Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) Vaccination Centre of Hope will be one of the largest and most sophisticated vaccination sites in the country, leveraging the combined resources and capacity of both the public and private sector, and thereby accelerating access to vaccination for greater numbers of residents.
“This is a welcomed boost for South Africa’s vaccination programme. When it comes to the national mass vaccination rollout, there is strong alignment between saving lives and saving livelihoods – two inseparable priorities.
“This site will contribute significantly to the national target to provide access to COVID-19 vaccination for 41.7 million adults in South Africa, to reach population immunity and prevent further waves of infection,” Noach said.
He said they are encouraged by early vaccine efficacy data analysis on Discovery members who have been vaccinated, which provides strong evidence of the protective effect of the COVID-19 vaccination.
“Preliminary data analysis shows 47% reduction in COVID-19 infection rates among vaccinated populations 21 days after receiving the first Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine dose, and an estimated 50% reduction in hospitalisation post first dose.
“These findings are congruent with international experience and highly encouraging from a South African perspective,” Noach said.
How the CTICC vaccination centre will work
The CTICC Vaccination Centre of Hope will be one of the biggest vaccination sites in the country.
Fifty vaccination stations will be operational at the site, with the related administrative and support staff in place to support operations.
This will mean that more than 4 000 people can be vaccinated per day when it reaches its full operational capacity.
Onsite registration will be possible at the site to help those who need assistance.
Vaccinations will be free of charge for everyone visiting the site, enabled by payment agreements between medical aids and the Western Cape Department of Health to provide a hassle-free experience to all residents.
The site will have sophisticated cold-chain refrigeration, waste management processes and IT infrastructure, and the capability to administer both the Pfizer-BioNTech double dose and Johnson & Johnson single dose vaccines.
“The COVID-19 vaccines used in South Africa are approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and are safe. They are also proven, through rigorous tests, to provide excellent protection against severe COVID-19 related illness. That is why it is important that every single person gets vaccinated as soon as possible.
“I urge you to register when it is your turn, so that we can fight back against COVID-19 and continue to save lives and livelihoods,” said Winde.
Everyone over the age of 50 is currently eligible to register for their COVID-19 vaccine on the Electronic Vaccination Data System, and is urged to do so by using any of the following steps:
• Visit http://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/ (which can also be accessed on www.westerncape.gov.za)
• WhatsApp the word REGISTER to 0600 123456
• Dial *134*832*ID number# if you don’t have internet access. – SAnews