Picture: 123RF/S SILVER
Picture: 123RF/S SILVER

Up to 4,000 people a day are set to be vaccinated against Covid-19 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, the Western Cape’s largest vaccination site.

Speaking at the site on Tuesday, premier Alan Winde said more than 700 jabs will be administered when it opens on Wednesday.

The site — a partnership between the provincial government, the City of Cape Town and Discovery Health — will vaccinate anyone over 50 but priority will be given to over-60s,  including walk-ins.

“We can reach some records here at this space ... 4,000 vaccines a day, and let’s see if we can even push some bigger numbers through the system,” said Winde.

“But we’ll learn as we go ... starting off tomorrow with 700 citizens, just getting the system going.”

Speaking alongside health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo, Cape Town mayor Dan Plato and Discovery group executive Adrian Gore, Winde said he is impressed by the convention centre’s second transformation in the Covid-19 era.

“This was the biggest field hospital on the African continent,” he said, adding that the 250 staff at the site will be provided equally by the public sector and Discovery.

“I am so proud to see this collaboration take shape, demonstrating what is possible when we work together with the private sector to deliver quality services to our residents.

“I hope this is the beginning of many more joint projects in this space. All eligible residents, whether they have a medical aid or not, will be assisted at this site. No person will be left behind because every life matters.”

The city worked to make the site operational before handing it over. The provincial health department will be responsible for co-ordination, supply of vaccines, and clinical and facilities management, while Discovery Health will be responsible for client experience, technology solutions and administrative functions.

Plato said he is looking forward to the site becoming operational. “We have urged the national government to increase its procurement and rollout of the vaccines so that more age groups can get the vaccine,” he added.

Discovery Health CEO Ryan Noach said early data on vaccine efficacy among medical aid members showed the Pfizer vaccine is significantly protective against Covid-19, with a 47% reduction in Covid-19 infection after 21 days and a 50% reduction in hospitalisations.

The vaccination site will have on-site registration, 50 vaccination stations, cold-chain refrigeration, waste management processes and IT infrastructure. It will provide Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson doses.

TimesLIVE

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