87 sites across South Africa stand ready to vaccinate older people as the country ramps up vaccination efforts, Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize said.
Speaking to media on Sunday evening (May 16), Mkhize said the government will run 83 of the vaccination sites, while four will be in the private sector. He added that his department hopes to increase those centers to around 200 by the end of the week.
Mkhize reiterated the government’s strategy to vaccinate citizens aged 60 and over in the second phase of the Covid-19 vaccination plan, as they are considered to be the most vulnerable to illness or death.
“We will continue to vaccinate healthcare workers and complete the target of 1.2 million by the end of the week,” he said. He added that the government aims to immunize five million elderly people by the end of June, provided there are enough vaccines.
He said citizens receiving a vaccine should take their acceptable documents for identity verification such as an ID card or book, driver’s license or passport.
During this time, people who join a medical assistance program must be provided with their medical assistance card or other information.
How to register
Mkhize said senior citizens can register for the vaccine through the following processes:
- Online at vaccine.enroll.gov.za.
- Using the WhatsApp line 0600 123456.
- By SMS by dialing * 134 * 832 #.
- Call the Covid-19 hotline on 0800 029 999.
To date, over 1,227 million seniors and over 914,000 healthcare workers have registered with EVDS, bringing that number to over 2.1 million citizens.
âWe recommend that as many people as possible register in advance,â Mkhize said, noting that vaccination centers currently do not allow walk-in visits.
âHowever, in the future we will be able to do that. The program has been designed to avoid long queues. This is why it is important that as many people as possible register in advance and follow the instructions they receive by text message. “
Mkhize said citizens living in nursing homes will not receive text messages because vaccines will be delivered to them.
He said the government was targeting 7,700 elderly people living in 102 nursing homes by the end of the week, and 50,000 documented citizens in nursing homes are expected to be vaccinated by the end of May.
“If you miss your appointment for a vaccination for any reason, you will be postponed [and] given another date and time to get vaccinated, âhe said. He warned, however, that if a person misses three appointments, they will not be rescheduled again.
âHowever, you will still be on the system and can request to be re-programmed by calling the Covid-19 hotline or visiting a registration site.â
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