Vaccine application process

Ursula Schenker, Associated Seniors Club, Plumstead

Having registered successfully on the national Department of Health’s electronic vaccine data system, on Saturday February 20, I was advised that, “You will be contacted via SMS regarding next steps.“

This was done with another SMS from Sisonke SAMRC (South African Medical Research Council) for consent.

The third SMS gave a voucher number, and I was told that this voucher, along with my ID document/passport, is required at the vaccination site. The SMS said public sector health-care workers should contact the vaccination site directly.

I went to the Lady Michaelis clinic and gave my voucher, but I learnt that I will have to wait until it is open to the public, which I do not have a problem with, although many of the elderly in the community are concerned as many are not tech-savvy and would like to have their names on the list so they can get the vaccine.

Provincial Department of Health spokesman Mark van den Heever responds:

Registration for vaccines is currently only open to health-care workers as part of phase 1. Once we open the other phases, we will communicate to the focus audience for that specific phase.

The vaccine will be rolled out in a three-phase approach that begins with the most vulnerable in our population. Phase 1 is for the country’s estimated 1.2 million front-line health-care workers. We are currently busy with this phase and estimate to conclude by the end of April.

Phase 2 is for essential workers, persons in congregate settings, persons over 60 and persons over 18 with co-morbidities. We anticipate receiving the required vaccine allocations from national around the beginning of May to commence with this phase.

Phase 3, the final phase, will target 22.5 million members of the population over the age of 18. The target is to vaccinate 67% of the population to achieve herd immunity.