Western Cape trains hundreds of Covid-19 vaccinators as province gears up for phase 1 of vaccine rollout

03 February 2021 - 11:15
By cebelihle bhengu AND Cebelihle Bhengu
Western Cape premier Alan Winde says plans to administer the Covid-19 vaccine in the province are well under way. File photo.
Image: Twitter/Alan Winde Western Cape premier Alan Winde says plans to administer the Covid-19 vaccine in the province are well under way. File photo.

Western Cape premier Alan Winde said on Tuesday the province had started training some of the 1,995 vaccinators who will ensure the administration of the Covid-19 vaccine.

Winde said the training would equip the health-care workers with adequate knowledge and skills to ensure safe and efficient administration of vaccines. He said the number of vaccinators would grow as distribution phases progress from the first to the third phase.

This means more health-care workers will be registered on the health department's database.

As per instruction from the national health department, vaccination will be rolled out in three phases. The first will prioritise health-care workers, the second essential workers and high-risk groups and the third will cover the general population of individuals older than 18.

The province estimates that it will require about 414 vaccinators for the first phase.

“One vaccinator can vaccinate between 40 to 50 people per day. It is estimated that 414 vaccinators are required for phase 1. As the number of people needing to be vaccinated increases in phases 2 and 3, our number of vaccinators will also increase."

Winde said the vaccinations are a significant part of the fight against the pandemic.

The Covid-19 pandemic, and the upcoming Covid-19 vaccine rollout, have presented the health system with unique challenges, necessitating the upskilling of many health-care workers in a short period.

“The Western Cape department of health has, in response, launched its biggest ever training intervention, which includes health-care workers from the department, City of Cape Town, non-government organisations and private sector,” Winde said.

Upon completing training, health-care workers will receive accreditation from the national health department.

Winde said the training programme created an opportunity for the province to collaborate with stakeholders in the health sector including private groups, NGOs and community health workers.

As more provinces gear up for the administration of the vaccine, KwaZulu-Natal premier Sihle Zikalala on Tuesday briefed the media about the province's vaccine rollout strategy.

He said 163,256 health-care personnel from the province are eligible to receive the vaccine during the first phase. Of these, 81,000 will be from the public sector and 49,000 from the private sector.

The provincial government has identified 91 vaccination sites. Zikalala said the vaccine would arrive in KZN on February 14.