The Citizen (Gauteng)

Registered over-60s to start getting jabs next week

- Asanda Matlhare

A total of 247 149 eligible people from Gauteng have registered on the Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS) ahead of the second phase of Covid vaccinatio­ns, which is due to start on Monday next week.

However, there are an estimated 1.3 million people over the age of 60 in the province, so registrati­on has been slow. This has been attributed to lack of internet access, as well as low digital literacy in this target group.

Yesterday, Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi participat­ed in the “social mobilisati­on” programme that took calls to help people register on the EVDS.

MEC spokesman Motalatale Modiba said the elderly who had registered would be informed about where they could be vaccinated by the end of the week.

Mokgethi said 21 sites in five districts that would be giving vaccinatio­ns to the elderly, starting with those in homes.

“We don’t want to vaccinate in all the sites all at once; we want to start small and then expand.

“Even with the J&J [Johnson & Johnson] Sisonke study, we started at Baragwanat­h hospital and expanded because as you meet challenges, then you learn how to address those, but at the end we will expand because we have more than 280 sites that will be used,” she said.

Modiba said: “The sites will work in phases so we can monitor the response of the first week and consider the number of vaccines we have at [our] disposal and are able to manage the roll-out programme.

The MEC said community health workers were doing their best in convincing the elderly and answering questions to allay any uncertaint­ies.

“We are making use of community healthcare workers because they interact with [these people] on a daily basis on the ground, as they also deliver medication to some of them.”

She added that more than 10 000 community healthcare workers, community developmen­t workers and social workers had helped to register the elderly who did not have access to the internet or smart devices.

“There will be an arrangemen­t for those that are unable to leave home for them to be vaccinated at home.”

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