Maverick Citizen


Day 12: More than three million people registered and Tannie Evita receives the Covid jab

Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout receives her first dose of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at the Wesbank Community Hall in Malmesbury on 1 June 2021. Assistant manager of primary healthcare at Swartland Hospital Hazel Andrews administers the jab. (Photo: Joyrene Kramer)

On 1 June, more than three million people were registered to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout received her jab and the Free State says its roll-out is going smoothly despite hiccups.

By 31 May, 490,680 people had received their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. And more than 3.1-million people have registered on the government’s Electronic Vaccination Data System. Of these, 2.2-million are people over 60 and the remaining 970,448 are healthcare workers. 

Meanwhile, Tannie Evita Bezuidenhout was among the first in the Swartland subdistrict of the Western Cape to receive a Covid-19 vaccine jab. 

Before entering the Wesbank Community Hall in Malmesbury, she said: “I am so relieved to be here to receive my vaccine, but I have a smartphone. I have a computer. I have internet. I have a car. I am 85 and I still drive myself. But many, many of my generation and younger don’t know how to register. 

“So if you know how to register and someone else doesn’t, please help them. And if you don’t know, then ask someone to help you. My son De Kock registered me; I couldn’t get the little blue letters on the screen to turn black. 

“This is why we need to be able to cope with walk-ins and have information in all 11 languages. I was so pleased to hear Premier Alan Winde and the Western Cape government responding to this obvious need to manage and to allow walk-ins.”

She commended the government for basing its decisions on science, unlike during the Aids pandemic. “Like then, we are in a race to save lives. Yes, it’s a life and death race. So I am here to encourage everybody to get registered, vaccinated and, liewe aarde mense, to get on with it!”

Tannie Evita urged the government to speed up vaccinations. “Where is the sense of urgency?”

After her vaccination, she admitted she had been nervous but was relieved that it was “just a small prick”. 

Several government officials were there to launch the site and provide an update on the provincial roll-out.

Most vaccination sites in the Swartland will be in community halls, said Dr Tony Hawkridge, medical manager for Swartland and Berg River. This is to allow primary healthcare facilities the space to continue delivering quality healthcare services, he explained.

There are 84 active sites in the province, according to Dr Saadiq Kariem, chief operations officer of the Western Cape health department. By 6 June, there will be 111 sites. The target is 274 sites.

The province has vaccinated 53,443 people during Phase 1b and Phase 2 of the roll-out.

swartland vaccination
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde launched the first vaccination site in the Swartland region on 1 June 2021 as the province kicked off its vaccine roll-out into the rural districts. (Photo: Joyrene Kramer)

Premier Alan Winde, who was visiting the site, urged people to register for the vaccine and trust in the EVDS system. He reminded people that the province has more than 320,000 people to vaccinate and that the number of sites and doses available in the province increase. 

He urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to allow those over 50 to register on the system to build up the database.

In the Free State, “there have been technical glitches and challenges with the transport of the vaccine”, said Godfrey Mahlatsi, acting head of the Free State health department. 

However, processes are “seamless” now, he said. Vaccinations disrupted by service delivery protests in Mangaung are now on track, he said.

The province is training vaccinators, while military medical personnel have stepped in to assist as some vaccination sites are still offline because of staff shortages, said Mahlatsi.

The province is accepting walk-ins, he said. 

How to register

Register to be vaccinated during Phase 2 on the Electronic Vaccination Data System:

Alternatively, register on WhatsApp by sending “REGISTER” to 0600123456.

Or register by 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 issues, call the Covid-19 hotline on 0800 029 999. DM/MC


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