Phase 2 of vaccine rollout: here are five important things you should know
A total of 87 sites around SA were open for administering the Pfizer vaccine on Monday in the second phase of the vaccine rollout, with 83 of these in the public sector and four in the private sector.
This is according to health minister Zweli Mkhize, who led the national health council in Covid-19 ahead of the launch on Sunday.
Here are five important things you need to know about phase 2 of the vaccine rollout:
More than two million have registered, but no walk-ins right now
More than 2.1 million people had registered for vaccination by Sunday. More than one million of these were citizens over the age of 60.
The minister called for more citizens to register as walk-ins will not be allowed at vaccination sites in the early stages of vaccination.
“The programme has been designed to avoid long queues and that is why we’d like people to go on the basis of a message inviting them to go for vaccination,” said the minister.
Senior citizens will be vaccinated in their care home facilities
Mkhize said elderly citizens living in old age homes will be registered and vaccinated at the facilities. The department aims to inoculate more than 7,000 senior citizens living in more than 102 old age homes by the end of the week.
“The 50,000 citizens documented in old age homes will be completed by the end of May. The provinces will detail their outreach plans over the course of this week.”
The Vaccine does not cure Covid-19
Mkhize urged citizens to abide by the standard Covid-19 safety precautions even after receiving the jab.
“The vaccine will protect you from getting severe Covid-19 disease or dying from Covid-19. However, no vaccine works 100% and we do not know whether vaccination prevents transmission of the coronavirus.”
You can't choose which vaccine you receive
The minister said citizens cannot choose which vaccine they receive. This will be determined by health workers and they will decide whether the patient needs a second dose.
“Most people will get their first and second doses at the same site. The Pfizer vaccines are safe and work well even against the variant which is dominant in our country. Two weeks after receiving the vaccine, one starts to show markers of immunity."
People in remote areas will receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The minister said citizens in remote areas will receive the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) jab to prevent cold storage challenges required by the Pfizer vaccine.
“We will use the J&J vaccine which can operate in reasonable temperatures. We have taken care of the availability of power supplies.”