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NC waiting on national Health dept for more vaccines

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The Northern Cape Department of Health has currently only received 3 902 vaccine doses

File picture: AFP

THE NORTHERN Cape Department of Health is waiting on the national Department of Health for when the next roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines will take place in the Province.

The department said it has only received 3 902 vaccine doses – from the country’s initial consignment of 80 000 Johnson and Johnson vaccines – from the national department.

Northern Cape Department of Health spokesperson Lebogang Majaha said that to date 1 815 health care workers in the public and private health sectors in the Province had been vaccinated.

“We have thus far only received 3 902 vaccine doses. A portion of that was donated to health care workers in the private sector. The number of vaccine doses received is the number of health care workers that will be vaccinated. Should we receive more vaccine doses, then we will be able to vaccinate more people,” said Majaha.

He said that the main focus is currently on front-line workers.

“We currently only have one vaccination site, the Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe Hospital, in Kimberley. Only front-line health care workers are receiving the vaccine. The department is currently deciding on more vaccination sites in the Province. Initially, there were 11 vaccination sites identified in the Province, however, the number of sites will be determined by how soon and the number of doses of vaccine the Province will receive.”

Majaha said the vaccine roll-out to the general public will be communicated at a later stage.

“The roll-out will be conducted in phases. We are currently in the first phase, which is focussing on front-line health care workers. We will complete the first phase in the next two weeks. The next phase will be determined by the availability of the vaccine. The second phase will focus on people with comorbidities, which includes the elderly, police officials and teachers. The final phase will focus on the general public.”

He added that nobody will be forced to take the vaccine.

“Our aim is to vaccinate 67% of the population in the Northern Cape. Nobody will, however, be forced to take it. It is not a compulsory vaccination.”