VACCINATION DIARY

Day 3: Nationwide Covid-19 vaccine roll-out sees more sites and longer queues

By Christi Nortier 19 May 2021

Anti-apartheid activist and last surviving organiser of the 1956 Women’s March, Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, is administered her first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on 19 May at the Alexandra Health Centre in Johannesburg. (Photo: GCIS)

On Wednesday, Day 3 of the vaccine roll-out, the first set of Covid-19 vaccination numbers for Phase 2 was released. In addition, some provinces released their totals for the first two days of the roll-out. Discovery Health’s mass vaccination site encountered some ‘glitches’ that were soon fixed.

By 18 May, South Africa had vaccinated 39,371 people in Phase 2 of the roll-out. This is the first official update on the vaccination tally and did not provide a provincial breakdown.

The number is up from the roughly 11,000 vaccines administered on 17 May.

The government had brought 100 inoculation sites online by the end of 18 May, according to health department director-general Dr Anban Pillay. More private vaccination sites will come online in the next few days, he said.

Meanwhile, some provinces released their own vaccination figures.

On 17 and 18 May, the Eastern Cape injected more than 7,000 healthcare workers and people over the age of 60, according to health MEC Nomakhosazana Meth. She spoke on Wednesday while visiting Settler’s Hospital in Makhanda to inspect its vaccination sites.

The province had 23 sites active on 19 May and almost 200,000 registrations, she said. She gave an assurance that the province had all the fridges and cold boxes it needed to maintain the cold chain.

The Western Cape administered 939 doses on 17 May.

On Wednesday, the province launched an additional eight vaccination sites dedicated to inoculating those over 60 years old. These are:

  • Gugulethu Community Health Clinic
  • Hanover Park Community Day Centre
  • Crossroads Community Health Clinic
  • Dr Abdurahman Community Day Centre
  • Inzame Zabantu Community Day Centre
  • Heideveld Community Health Clinic
  • Mitchells Plain Community Health Clinic
  • Nyanga Community Day Centre
  • Gugulethu Clinic
  • Eerste River Clinic

This is in addition to:

  • Pelican Park Clinic and Matthew Goniwe Clinic (for healthcare workers only)

The following sites are for healthcare workers and those over 60:

  • Matthew Goniwe Clinic
  • Brooklyn Chest Hospital
  • Helderberg Hospital
  • Mitchells Plain Hospital
  • Khayelitsha Hospital
  • Karl Bremer Hospital
  • Brackenfell Clinic

The province reiterated that walk-ins are still not allowed at this stage.

By 18 May, KwaZulu-Natal had vaccinated 9,014 people over 60 in Phase 2 and 6,069 healthcare workers in Phase 1B.

In the North West, 478 people were vaccinated on 17 May and another 1,595 on 18 May.

The Northern Cape vaccinated 349 people in Kimberley on 18 May.

Limpopo did not release its vaccination tally. However, it has announced its vaccination sites as follows:

  • Pietersburg Hospital
  • Mankweng Hospital
  • St Rita’s Hospital
  • Donald Fraser Hospital
  • Dr CN Phatudi Hospital
  • Mokopane Hospital

Meanwhile, the 1 Discovery Place vaccination site in Sandton, Johannesburg, “experienced a scheduling glitch” on 19 May. This led to bookings not being allocated.

As a result, it allowed limited walk-ins for people over 70 for a short time to avoid a day without vaccinations, Discovery Health said in a statement.

By 2pm, the site was full and could no longer accommodate walk-ins. It would continue with appointments scheduled on EVDS, the government’s official registration portal, from 20 May.

“Discovery would like to confirm that the national EVDS registration and scheduling system for Covid-19 vaccines is working and scheduling recipients appropriately. Any comments attributed to Discovery about EVDS not working are false and misplaced,” the company announced in a statement.

Day 3 of the roll-out saw yet more public figures getting the vaccine, ostensibly to encourage others to take part in the campaign.

One was Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, the last surviving organiser of the 1956 Women’s March. The 83-year-old anti-apartheid activist received her vaccine dose at the Alexandra Health Centre in Johannesburg.

Anti-apartheid activist Sophia Williams-De Bruyn completes paperwork before receiving a first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on 19 May at the Alexandra Health Centre. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

“The vaccination does not mean we won’t catch Covid… for me, it’s another protection against the virus and we must continue with the protocols put in place. We must keep our distance, wash our hands and wear our masks properly,” she said.

“We must be disciplined in that regard. I would encourage everybody to have the vaccination.”

In Hillbrow, former finance minister Trevor Manuel was “elated” to get the jab. He recounted how he lost his mother to Covid-19 in 2020 and a close friend just last week.

“I want to ask that people register and get vaccinated, please,” Manuel said afterwards.

In Pretoria, film producer and Generations creator Mfundi Vundla received his dose. He too encouraged everyone to get vaccinated “for themselves, their families and their country”. He said staff were friendly and helpful and he did not find the injection painful.

“Hakuna matata! Just come here and get vaccinated,” said Vundla.

At the same time, Judge Hans Fabricius of the Pretoria High Court also said he had been vaccinated without any problems. He encouraged those over 60 to get inoculated.

“Take the trouble. It will save your life,” said the judge.

How to register

Register to be vaccinated during Phase 2 here: https://vaccination.health.gov.za/#/.

Alternatively, register on WhatsApp by sending “REGISTER” to 0600 123456.

Or register via SMS by dialling *134*832*your ID number#. If you don’t have an ID number, just dial *134*832#. You do not need a smartphone, airtime or data to register by SMS.

If you encounter any difficulties, call the Covid-19 hotline on 0800 029 999. DM/MC

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