The Gauteng Department of Health says that it plans to start vaccinations on 1 February.
“National [Health] has informed us that probably by the end of this week we should be able to get our vaccines and our plan is to start the first vaccination by 1 February, that’s if we receive the vaccines by this weekend, depending on the availability and when the vaccine comes in,” the chief executive officer of the Medical Supplies Depot, Dumisani Malele, said on Monday.
Malele was speaking at the Nasrec field hospital during a visit by Gauteng Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi.
News24 earlier reported that South Africa is expected to receive a million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine in January .
While Gauteng is not yet aware of how the doses will be distributed, it announced a vaccine roll-out strategy which includes three phases.
“We are planning to vaccinate 10,720,000 people and the plan is going to be in three phases. The first phase will be the frontline healthcare workers which we estimate to be about 150,000 healthcare workers both in the public and the private sector,” Malele explained.
In addition, these healthcare workers have four categories in terms of prioritisation:
- Category 1 – Those conducting aerosol-generating procedures, which is intubation, ventilation.
- Category 2 – Those in direct contact with known or suspected Covid-19 patients.
- Category 3 – Those in contact with patients who are not known or suspected to have Covid-19.
- Category 4 – Those not in contact with patients.
Phase 2 has four categories: Essential workers, such as teachers; people living in congregated areas such as prisons; people over the age of 60; and, those over the age of 18 with co-morbidities.
Lastly phase three will see all other people over the age of 18 vaccinated.
“As a promise we are planning to make sure that in the 1st phase we are going to use all of our healthcare facilities, to be able to vaccinate all the healthcare workers in private and public, we have the infrastructure to do this.
“We plan to have one vaccinator vaccinating close to 40 people a day and there will be a system where people will be registered to ensure that we vaccinate the correct people,” Malela further explained.