Melomed Gatesville is among the first private hospitals in the country to offer Covid-19 vaccinations to all front-line health-care workers.
The hospital’s vaccination site, with 17 stations, was officially opened at the Rylands civic centre, on Tuesday March 2, by Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo.
Initially, in the first two weeks of the roll-out, the vaccine was given only at state facilities, such as Groote Schuur and Tygerberg hospitals.
The Department of Health then earmarked 17 private sites to become vaccination centres, and Melomed Gatesville is currently the first and only private site in the Cape metro.
CEO of the South African Medical Research Council, Professor Glenda Gray, said more than 73 000 of the country’s health workers had been vaccinated so far, and she hoped more than half a million of them would get the jab in the next few weeks.
“The first and second wave affected me really badly,“ she said, ”because I lost family, friends, and other health-care workers, so I want to acknowledge them for their braveness and also let you know that we are working on amending vaccine protocol so that health-care workers who are pregnant can also get the vaccine. We’ve heard their calls, and we are working on it, as I know that they are severely affected by the virus.“
Deputy mayor Ian Neilson said getting people vaccinated was as important as meeting basic needs like water and should be a priority across all spheres of government.
“Any way that we can help to assist the roll-out of vaccinations we will,“ he said. ”We thank all the role-players for their efforts to get us where we are now. Best wishes to everyone in the health sector.“
The chief director general of the provincial Health Department, Dr Saadiq Kariem, said 13 415 of the province’s health-care workers had so far had the jab from the first batch of vaccines. From a second batch, 4 740 vaccines had been allocated for the private sector and 3 840 for public hospitals.
Acting CEO of Melomed Gatesville hospital, Ismail Bhorat, said: “An effective roll out marks the beginning of an end to this pandemic. Our doctors and nurses are working tirelessly throughout the pandemic and we are grateful that they have been able to set this up as well,” he said.