Vaccinations begin at Life

The World Heath Organisation had also issued an advisory on Wednesday telling countries to continue using the vaccine, Mwangangi said, which further supports the Kenyan government’s position.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

While the Chris Hani health district faces delays in the Covid-19 inoculation roll-out programme like the rest of the province, the Life Queenstown Private Hospital began its three-day frontline worker immunisation ahead of the Easter weekend on Monday.

Life Queenstown Private Hospital was selected as a vaccination site as part of the Sisonke early access programme, under the auspices of the Medical Research Council, with the support of the provincial health department.

Life Healthcare Border-Kei region manager Bruce Janssens said the aim was to vaccinate frontline healthcare workers in the Komani area, covering the public and private healthcare sectors.

“We aim to broaden access to the vaccines which have been allocated to the Eastern Cape healthcare workers.

“This reflects the continued collaboration between the public and private sectors in trying to safeguard healthcare workers. The number of healthcare workers who will be vaccinated through this outreach site will depend on the number of vaccines allocated by the Medical Research Council and national department of health,” he said.

Janssens said their approved vaccination site strictly followed all Covid-19 regulations including the social distancing of staff administering the vaccine, along with strict protocols regarding infection prevention and control measures such as sanitisation and the use of personal protective equipment.

Meanwhile, the Chris Hani health chief district director Sindiswa Tywabi said they prepared Frontier Hospital as the identified vaccine facility and it had been ready for the inoculation programme but there was still no vaccine in sight.

“We are concerned about the delayed vaccination, especially going into the Easter weekend, because it usually ends with huge festivities that, in this pandemic, are called super spreaders.

“However, last week government revealed that the vaccine roll-out programme would reach more facilities and subsequently healthcare workers as it tred to ramp up the process in April. We hope facilities in our district will be among those to receive the vaccine so we may start vaccinating soonest,” said Tywabi.

Addressing the nation on Tuesday ahead of the Easter weekend, President Cyril Ramaphosa lamented that the country was not ready to go back to normality and would remain on alert level one during the long weekend, with some adjustments.

The adjustments include the prohibition of the sale of alcohol for off-site consumption, religious gatherings restricted to 250 people indoors provided the venue allows for it, and 500 people for outdoor gatherings.

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