Walk-in vaccinations not guaranteed

Vaccinations for those between 18 and 34 will be available from September.

Schools have officially opened on Monday July 26 and the country is now on an adjusted alert level 3 – this follows President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement on Sunday July 25.

Inter-provincial travel has been reopened but gatherings are still restricted to 50 people indoors and 100 people indoors; masks still remain mandatory and funerals and cremations are restricted to a maximum of 50 people with a time limit of two hours for services and the adjusted curfew from 10am to 4am.

Alcohol sales are also now permitted from Monday to Thursdays from 10am to 6pm.

On Sunday the president also announced that from September those between 18 and 34 will be able to receive the vaccine.

The provincial health department’s vaccination programme is still going full steam ahead and is expecting to reach one million vaccinations early next week, said spokesperson Natalie Watlington.

She said vaccinating seniors remains the department’s top priority in the following order; people 60 years and older requiring their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine; people 60 years and older requiring their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, people aged 50 to 59 years requiring their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and then people aged 35 to 49 years requiring their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

Doctor Kathryn Grammer, director of the Southern and Western health sub-structure, said global evidence proves that the age group most at risk of Covid-19 mortality and severe illness is the 60+ age category: “These residents therefore remain our priority age group.”

Asked if residents can walk in at southern and western health sub-structure sites Ms Watlington said not all vaccination sites will have equal capacity on a day to tend to all appointments or walk-ins. “Our total vaccinations will be guided by local demand at that specific site. We would like to reiterate that clients with appointments will be prioritised at our sites.”

There’s no guarantee that walk-in clients will be attended to.

“It is therefore best for our clients, especially those in the 35 to 49 cohort, to wait for their second SMS confirming the date and time of appointment before attending a vaccination site,” Ms Watlington said.