The Western Cape has recorded 96 additional deaths, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 9440. We send our condolences to their loved ones at this time.

The Western Cape Government has not yet received the details on when the first vaccine doses, announced by the National Government, will arrive in the Western Cape. It is also not yet clear how many we will receive.

We have however planned to deliver 105 000 vaccines to healthcare workers as part of our first phase, and we are planning to rollout in the first week of February, if received by then.

As part of the process, our department of health will be engaging with a variety of stakeholders and sectors to ensure the success of the rollout. This includes organised labour, citizens, civil society, Higher Education Institutions, the business sector, religious organisations, statutory engagement structures like hospital boards and health facility committees.

It is important that we also provide internal communication to healthcare workers that allays any concerns that they have.

Many healthcare workers have already come out in support of the vaccine and are encouraging their colleagues and fellow South Africans, when possible, to do the same.

Here are some testimonials:

“I am taking the vaccine. Scientists have provided evidence to show that this is currently our best medical defence against COVID-19,” – Dr Anita Parbhoo, Acting CEO, Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital.  

“I welcome the vaccine. It will be better than working with this fear of contracting the virus every day. By taking the vaccine we will be taking the 1st step to protect ourselves, our loved ones and our community. We are actively working together to bring this pandemic finally to an end. Smallpox, polio and measles was all brought under control by a vaccine.” – Thouwybah Phillips, Operational Manager for Respiratory ICU, Groote Schuur Hospital. 

 “I am taking the vaccine. Being the frontline workers of this pandemic, we have a high risk of being exposed, as we play a critical role in caring for our patients.” – Melody Camelo, Operation Manager for Nursing, Groote Schuur Hospital. 

[Press Release Credit: Western Cape Government]