Phase 2 Pfizer vaccinations for over 60s

The Plainsman visited the Mitchell’s Plain vaccination site at the Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital where 434 elderly were vaccinated on Thursday May 20.

Nurse Johanna Hartnick injecting Janap Louw, 68, from Portland who received her Pfizer vaccination at the Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital main hall.

The provincial government launched phase 2 of its vaccination plan, focusing on those over 60 and the remaining health workers.

Over 434 people were vaccinated on Thursday May 20 at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital’s main hall.

On Thursday May 20, 434 people received the Pfizer vaccination at the Mitchell’s Plain vaccination site at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital’s main hall.

More than 300 people were vaccinated in Mitchell’s Plain on day one, Wednesday May 19, with Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital vaccinating 245 people in the over-60 group at Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital’s main hall and the Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre vaccinating 90 elderly people.

The Western Cape is currently facing a resurgence as it has seen increases in its case numbers every day, over the past 12 days. While this is not yet a third wave, it is the first sign that it’s moving towards one, said premier Alan Winde.

The Western Cape Government confirmed the number of vaccination sites in the province increased to 53 as of Monday May 24, with more to come, he said.

This is part of their scale-up approach where they will bring more sites online regularly, as they significantly increase the number of vaccinations administered daily, he said.

The provincial Department of Health will bring online 23 more public vaccination sites, bringing the total of public vaccination sites to 42.

The private sector will have 11 sites operational as of Monday May 24, with Mediclinic bringing online four additional sites.

A Cape Town woman, 67, awaiting her vaccination prick, was a little anxious and had mixed feelings. She said she would feel safe with the protection of the vaccine.

“As soon as they sent the notification, I went. I don’t go on what people say about the vaccines, I am rational. There is scientific proof. We shouldn’t let our guard down, especially the over-60 group as we are more at risk,” she said.

Head nurse from Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital, Aletta Brown, said it was so nice to see the excitement and enthusiasm of the elderly.

Nurse Brown said they explain the process to the elderly to help them understand the vaccination process.

“There were lots of work put in with regards to the flow of patients, as it was our pilot week. We are ever ready for the weeks to come and assist where we can,” she said.

They are a big site, they receive vaccines daily and would not want to turn people away, she added. People came from across the province for their vaccinations. They will be training more staff in the weeks to come, said Nurse Brown.

Dr Jacek Marszalek, medical manager for Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital, encouraged the elderly to be registered on the system so that when they reach the vaccination site it is easier to assist them at the vaccination site. They discourage walk-ins as it delays the process, he said.

Patients receive two doses of the Pfizer vaccine, the first dose on your appointment date and the second dose three weeks later from your appointment date, said Nurse Brown.

Lentegeur resident, Francois Lottering with his mother Anne Lottering, 78, a Covid-19 survivor who got vaccinated on Thursday May 20.

Anne Lottering, 78, from Lentegeur is a Covid-19 survivor and got vaccinated on Thursday May 20.

Ms Lottering fell ill in December 2020. The ambulance fetched her and rushed her to hospital. Ms Lottering had severe symptoms of Covid-19.

“Dit was nie lekker nie, maar ek moes deurgedruk het. All glory to God – I can say I am a survivor,” said Ms Lottering.

Her son, Francois Lottering, said it is very worrying for an elderly person who has Covid-19.

“My mother wanted her space, so I had to give her that. Give those their space with Covid-19, isolating at home. Be there for them nonetheless, allow them the isolation,” he said.

Janap Louw, 68, from Portland received her vaccination at the Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital Main Hall. “I encourage all elderly to come for the vaccine to stop the coronavirus from spreading. It was not painful at all,” said Ms Louw.

The Western Cape Department of Health will continue with outreaches to old age homes in the city and commenced with outreaches to old age homes in municipalities outside of the metro.

Families can assist with registration and escort the over-60 group if they are unable to do get to vaccination sites on their own.

The following vaccinations sites are open, Mitchell’s Plain Community Health Centre, Mitchell’s Plain District Hospital at the Lentegeur Psychiatric Hospital’s main hall, Inzame Zabantu Community Day Centre (CDC), Crossroads CDC, Gugulethu CHC, Heideveld CDC, Hanover Park CDC, Dr Abdurahman CDC at the New Apostolic Church in Kewtown and Nyanga CDC.

The Department of Health encouraged all caregivers and family members of persons older than 60 years to register on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS). You can register at no cost by using the USSD service. Dial *134*832# from your phone to start the registration process or send the word “REGISTER” to 0600 123 456 on WhatsApp OR visit http://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za

The public is urged to only visit vaccination facilities once their appointments have been confirmed. This will ensure that everyone is assisted and gets vaccinated.