Gauteng govt not worried about coping with high volumes of walk-ins at jab sites

Government wants to ramp up progress by administering over 100,000 jabs a day in the province over the next two months.

People wait in line to get their COVID-19 vaccination at the Witkoppen Clinic in Fourways on 27 July 2021. Picture: @GautengHealth/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng government said it wasn’t concerned about whether it had the capacity to cope with high walk-in volumes at vaccine sites where people are having to wait in long lines.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura visited the Witkoppen Clinic in Fourways on Tuesday where he interacted with people queuing for either their first or second shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Government wants to ramp up progress by administering over 100,000 jabs a day in the province over the next two months.

READ MORE: Gauteng to increase vaccination sites, aiming to jab 100,000 people per day

“I was scared, but now I’m feeling fine because I didn’t really feel it and even my arm can move, see?” said a 59-year-old Joburg woman who sat on a plastic chair at the Witkoppen Clinic in Fourways after her vaccination.

She peers out from colourful sunglasses and is wrapped warmly with layers of clothing and a scarf in the icy July winter breeze. She's just received her first jab in the arm at one of the busiest public vaccine sites in Fourways. She arrived before the gates opened and said that the whole process took about three hours.

Freshly jabbed, and ready to head out, she said that she understood the importance of still abiding by the non-pharmaceutical interventions.

“I did get the jab, but I won't go out of my house, no no,” she said.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura wanted to know how she was feeling - others who were queuing along the sidewalk just off William Nicol Drive were asked similar questions.

Makhura said they hoped to get more elderly people vaccinated once younger people in households were also eligible. The 18 to 34 age group will be allowed to get their shot from 1 September.

But with a higher demand for jabs, government will also need to urgently step up its capacity to avoid long queues at facilities like these and to ensure that no one has to be turned away.

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