People in the Eastern Cape might have to wait more than three months to be vaccinated.
This according to Health MEC Sindiswa Gomba during a press briefing in Bhisho on Thursday.
She said a provincial task team, which will co-ordinate the vaccination programme in the Eastern Cape, would only inspect the readiness of all identified sites for the rolling out of vaccines at the end of April 2021.
Gomba added the province would use 1 158 sites, including clinics and hospitals, to service 5 414 residential areas.
“That is the task that we must go to and we will be looking at the sites by the end of April 2021 that are clearly identified. What we have done as the department, was to have a task team led by one of the chief directors.
“At the moment, we are at the stage where we are evaluating the sites that are going to do the job, checking whether they have capacity, fridges are there to keep the specimens.”
She said the province was looking for 571 people to employ as vaccinators when the province rolled out its plan to vaccinate 3.7 million people in the next six to nine months.
“This is to ensure successful implementation of a successful rollout of the vaccination programme.”
Master vaccinators were currently being trained by the national health department, added Gomba.
The province is looking to vaccinate 67% of the 6.5 million population to attain herd immunity to defeat the virus.
At the briefing, it was announced the State of the Province Address will be delivered by Premier Oscar Mabuyane on 23 February 2021.
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“This is where he will provide feedback on the performance of the government in the current financial year and will also unpack government’s programmes to develop the province, which will be implemented starting in the new financial year,” said provincial government spokesperson Mvusiwekhaya Sicwetsha.
Gomba, who reported to work this week after recovering from Covid-19, revealed she was also suffering from high blood pressure. She said this meant she was under the constant supervision of clinicians and a doctor as it was a comorbidity.
Her advice to those who tested positive for Covid-19 was to listen to their bodies.
“Your body tells you immediately when something is not right and which part is not functioning fully. For me, I took a bit of time to recover because of how it affected me, however, what I have learnt is that there is no better way of dealing with Covid-19 than immediately seeking help.
“Due to support, I was treated and recovered from home. My own family took the time to look after me. I had moral support from my family and friends,” Gomba told reporters.
News24 has sought clarity on her statement on the waiting period for the availability of vaccines in the province, which implies that residents may only be vaccinated after 30 April.
Gomba’s spokesperson, Siyanda Manana, promised to come back to New24 with a response at a later stage. His comment will be added once received.
On Wednesday, Health Minister Zweli Mkhize said the country would receive its first batch of one million vaccine doses from the Serum Institute of India on 1 February. News24