Talks of the third wave hitting Cape Town has everybody on edge and searching for the vaccine that could prevent them from catching the dreaded Covid-19 virus.
With the current Hout Bay primary health care facilities having significant space constraints at both Hout Bay Main Road Clinic and at the Victoria Avenue Community Day Centre, the Department of Health decided to roll-out “pop-up” Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) stations in Hout Bay.
There is now an agreement with Western Cape Education Department to use the Dominican Grimley School as the main Hout Bay vaccination venue.
“This is a non-health site which requires additional specific preparation compared to health sites, however we are confident that this can be up and running fairly quickly,” the provincial Department of Health said.
Health spokesperson, Natalie Watlington, said they are working closely with the local schools so that residents who have not had the opportunity to register for the vaccines, may do so.
Over the course of the next two weeks, the department will be hosting pop up registration sites for the communities of Imizamo Yethu and Hangberg.
“We continue to partner with stakeholders who are in need of resource support to guide the community to address their concerns as to how to register and where registration sites have been set up,” Ms Watlington said.
The main challenge for the department is the “under-registration” of elders on the EVDS.
“We therefore invite community stakeholders to partner with us to help the elderly register and to disseminate credible information regarding the vaccine that can be found on our WCGH website or from your local facility,” she said.
The Western Cape has over 3000 active Covid-19 infections, with nearly 300 000 people having been infected with Covid-19 to date and just over 270 000 recoveries.
Imizamo Yethu community leader, Kenny Tokwe, said they have already started appealing to the elderly in the community to work with health officials to get registered.
He applauded the efforts of the health department in attempting to get people registered for the vaccination process.
“Our young people must help the parents and grandparents to register. Let’s save the community by all means. We at war against the invisible enemy, but we shall overcome,“ Mr Tokwe said.
Pensioner Jennifer Bakana from IY said it was important to be kept updated about vaccinations.
“You read the news and watch the TV and you hear the stuff about the virus. When you think it’s gone, you then hear about more people dying or getting the virus,” she said.
Ms Bakana said many started to fear that registrations won’t happen, but is relieved to see officials in the community and meeting with community members to discuss the vaccination process.
“We have never been through something like this and for many it will be scary. But we have to get through it together and we need the officials to be open and honest with us,” she explained.
Community activist and Hangberg resident, Roscoe Jacobs, has also started assisting the elderly get registered for the vaccines.
He questioned the department, asking “when and where” in Hout Bay the elderly of the community could start being vaccinated for COVID-19.
“Our elderly have registered and continue to register, but it seems there is no plan in place in Hout Bay for our elderly,” Mr Jacobs said.
He proposed that the health department erect a tent in Hout Bay at the Hout Bay Sport Complex for this purpose,“ Mr Jacobs added.
“It is our understanding that the Hout Bay Day Hospital in Victoria Road is unable to fulfill this responsibility and another alternative is the old Hout Bay Day Hospital in Hangberg, Hout Bay,” he said.
Hout Bay local Timothy Chamberlain hoped that enough support will be granted to the people of Hout Bay.
“We do not want a situation whereby people have to sit all day and wait in long queues. This is an important process for everybody and we hoping it could run smoothly,” he said.
For Mr Chamberlain, it’s alot more personal as three of his family members had succumbed to the dreaded the virus.
“It hits a very soft spot. I commend all these guys for trying to get the elderly registered and I take my hat off to officials trying to get this thing running as smooth as possible,” Mr Chamberlain.
“We all need this and it needs to be done in the correct way.”
Registration allows for the vulnerable to be scheduled for an appointment at their nearest facility. Once the appointment has been confirmed, the department encouraged residents to take up the appointment and visit the designated facility to be vaccinated. Walk-ins at vaccination sites are discouraged, so as to avoid crowding, a long waiting time and ensure that the appointment system is efficiently supporting each and every client.
“There is a clear plan for our mobile teams to reach the most vulnerable residents, as well as those living in congregant settings where large numbers of older people live in shared spaces,” Ms Watlington said.
“Old Age Homes will be contacted by the District teams in advance as to when their registration ready for the outreach team to vaccinate.”
Although the Dominican Grimley School was identified as the main Hout Bay vaccination venue, Ms Watlington confirmed that there is another non-health site which requires additional specific preparation compared to health sites.
“We are confident that this can be up and running fairly quickly,” she said.