DA says the Gauteng vaccination drive is off to a poor start

The DA said that counter to expectations, few people who are 60 years and above in the province will receive the vaccine this week due to a limited number of vaccination sites that will administer the Pfizer dose.

South Africa will start vaccinating residents older than 60 against Covid-19 on 17 May. © Olena Yakobchuk/123rf

JOHANNESBURG - The DA said the second phase of the vaccination drive is off to a particularly poor start in Gauteng - which is expected to be the hardest hit by the next wave.

The party said that counter to expectations, few people who are 60 years and above in the province will receive the vaccine this week due to a limited number of vaccination sites that will administer the Pfizer dose.

The Gauteng Health Department has released the location of 28 public facilities which have been accredited as COVID-19 vaccination sites for the phase 1b and phase 2 rollout - which will kick off on Monday.

READ: GP health publishes list of vaccination sites under phase 1 b & phase 2 rollout

According to the department, the Pfizer doses will initially go to health workers and to institutions like old-age homes.

The DA's Jack Bloom said this is a far cry from the 285 vaccination centers that were promised by the government to bolster the vaccine rollout.

READ: Phase 2 of S. Africa's COVID vaccine rollout set to start tomorrow

“It’s going to be quite limited in the first week they're going to be doing old age homes and continuing with health workers. And I would really have expected that there would be more vaccination sites available. They’ve really needed to have a lot more than that, we were actually promised several hundred vaccination sites”.
However, the department's spokesperson Kwara Kekana said more sites will be activated as the rollout continues.

“Drawing from the lessons from the Sisonke vaccination program the provincial government will not be activating all vaccination sites at the same time. More sites will be activated as time goes on”.

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