As the nation continues with the Covid-19 vaccination roll out, 8 472 citizens in the Chris Hani District have been vaccinated, this according to health district chief director Sindiswa Tywabi last week Wednesday.
Tywabi, who received her Pfizer jab alongside senior citizens at Hewu Hospital recently, said scientists had recommended a 42-day interval between the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine a few days after the phase 2 nationwide vaccination programme commenced on May 17. “People have been sent messages that the second dose of Pfizer vaccines will now be given after 42 days, instead of 21. People will receive an sms notifying them of their due date for the Pfizer vaccine appointment.” Tywabi said the message stated that no one would be vaccinated for their second dose if they returned before that period.
Responding to glitches on the non-availability of vaccines at sites with reported cases at Frontier Hospital, she said glitches were experienced across the country due to the Pfizer vaccine being the only one available. “The plan was to include Johnson and Johnson, which is still undergoing quality checks. That was rectified immediately by reallocating available vaccines equitably across the province. The national department of health has been sending vaccines weekly since then.”
Tywabi said vehicles were sent out and ward-based primary health care outreach teams dispatched to perform integrated health programmes including vaccine registration, track-and-trace and visits to households for other health programmes. Five vehicles were distributed from time to time, two for Enoch Mgijima Local Municipality, one for Intsika Yethu, one in Ngcobo and one in Sakhisizwe.
She added that the Pfizer vaccine would, as of Monday, be available at All Saints Hospital, Cradock, Frontier and Hewu hospitals.
Tywabi urged the public to adhere to the Covid -19 regulations and to avoid large gatherings and said a number of people at Inxuba Yethemba Municipality were infected after several contracted the virus at two super-spreader events. “We had 89 cases at Inxuba Yethemba after a wedding and a Mother’s Day dinner. We were able to interrupt further transmission of infection. It was monitored and contained. We quickly closed in. Everyone was isolated, we checked all the index cases, their close contacts, tested everyone and were able to break the chain of infection. People must avoid super-spreader events at all costs and stick to pharmaceutical intervention. People are reminded that we are on level 2 with reduced numbers for gatherings.”
Chris Hani District Municipality mayor Wongama Gela, who was addressing stakeholders at the official opening of the recently completed paved Wodehouse Street and Bells Road upgrade said: “The active cases are on the rise, even our district is on that alert level because infections are slowly increasing. While we face that threat, the roll-out of the vaccination programme is underway. The government is committed to ensuring many people are vaccinated, particularly those 6o and above, so that some level of immunity can be reached by those citizens.”