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Western Cape ramps up vaccine rollout

Paul Ash Senior reporter
A resident receives a vaccine at Eldorado Park's Andries Meyer Old Age Home this week.
A resident receives a vaccine at Eldorado Park's Andries Meyer Old Age Home this week.
Image: Alaister Russell/Sunday Times

The Western Cape plans to ramp up vaccination registration in an attempt to make the process easier for older or vulnerable people who might not have access to technology.

The slow pace of registrations is hampering SA's Covid-19 vaccination drive which began in earnest last week with the phase 2 rollout for people over 60.

While the government says it intends to vaccinate the entire population of over-60s by the end of June, only 1.6 million people over 60 have registered so far.

On Friday, Business for SA (B4SA) chairperson Martin Kingston said during a webinar that the number of over-60s registering had been “disappointingly low” and he called on South Africans to help older people register for the jab.

The DA in the Western Cape says it is concerned about the challenges posed by the registration system, as it was “not conducive” to the situation facing many of SA's elderly and rural residents.

“The reality is that not all elderly and vulnerable residents have access to the technology needed to register for the vaccines,” said Western Cape MP Wendy Philander, adding that the national government had had “many months” to set up easily accessible vaccination registration systems.

The provincial government applauded efforts to work with old-age homes to ensure all residents are registered as well as making available 75 Cape Access Centres and public libraries in more than a dozen municipalities to help make the process more accessible.

Philander said she would work with representative bodies from old-age homes to check that residents were registered and to remove any stumbling blocks. 

As a third wave of infections begins battering SA, an “agile” vaccination process was vital, Philander said.

“We know that vaccines work in reducing the spread and severity of Covid-19, and so we have to do everything possible to make sure eligible residents are registered for their jabs,” she said.

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