Government is in a race against time to rollout the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine to the country’s 1.25 million healthcare workers starting in February after the Department of Health on Wednesday outlined how the process will work.
South Africa is aiming to vaccinate 65% of the adult population – 40 million people – in order to achieve herd immunity. And healthcare workers will play a critical role in this process, which will be at a scale greater than that of HIV treatment or elections.
This is how healthcare workers will be prioritised in the first phase of SA’s vaccination programme:
- In order to receive a vaccination appointment, healthcare workers will be required to register on an online vaccine self-registration portal that is yet to be implemented.
- All healthcare workers – public, private, clinical, and non-clinical – are expected to register on the platform.
- They will need to submit general information like their names, dates of birth, gender and contact details, as well as information about their places of work.
- The information provided will be used to match them to a registered vaccination service point (where you get the injection) when the vaccine is allocated.
- Information on the portal will also be used to communicate with individuals about the vaccination programme. This includes notifications sent via SMS to all vaccinees as to where, the date and time to receive the vaccination.
- Healthcare workers will receive messages which will include information like the vaccine site, medical aid details and a vaccination code.
- Government will also communicate with healthcare workers through social media, professional organisations, employers, and labour unions.