You will undoubtedly have followed developments over the past few days related to the South African COVID-19 vaccine acquisition and rollout programme. Colleagues will be aware that we established the B4SA vaccine platform to provide up-to-date information on bilateral and multilateral engagements with government, hopefully enabling businesses to respond to the latest news.
Dear B4SA and healthcare colleagues,
Since last year, business has worked with the National Department of Health and our colleagues in the Solidarity Fund to create the capacity to vaccinate the nation. Vaccination is the best health policy, it is the best social policy, and it is the best economic policy.
Our ability to return to our way of life and ensure the economy is back on an optimal growth path depends on successfully implementing the vaccination rollout strategy and bringing all of our collective resources to bear.
The launch on Monday of Phase 2 of our national vaccination programme marked a critical turning point in our 14-month fight against COVID-19. in addition to targeting the balance of the health care workers, we started with the most vulnerable, our 5.4 million over 60s, so that they can all be vaccinated by mid-winter. As soon as possible, we will extend the vaccination programme to the balance of our adult population.
We have mobilised vaccination sites throughout the country, including hospitals, pharmacies, clinics and medical practices, occupational health and safety sites across many sectors and larger facilities. Business has also ensured that we have the people to operate those sites across many disciplines and competencies.
This is the start of a massive national effort. We ask for your support and cooperation. Everyone needs to play their part—to get registered, help others register, and get vaccinated as and when directed to do so.
Here is the link to register—here is the link.
B4SA is proud to work alongside and in support of the Government as they oversee the rollout of the vaccination programme. The work business is doing is part of the national effort and at no cost to the country.
On a personal note, I received my vaccination on Monday, for which I am grateful. I call on all to encourage registration and vaccination. It's free, it's safe, and it will enable our country to achieve its full potential.
Stay safe—register if you are over 60, and tell and help others to do the same .
Martin Kingston, Chairman, B4SA Steering Committee
Total vaccinations: 597 406 (as of 20 May 2021)
More statistics here
Registration and your medical aid
Medical aids MUST communicate to their membership that they have to register on the EVDS platform. Registering on your medical aid portal is not enough. You must register on the EVDS portal above as well.
As of 21 May, the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases identified in South Africa is 1 625 003.
The total number of deaths stands at 55 568.
Government Communication: Vaccination Toolkit
The government has released a free Vaccination Communications Toolkit for use by all interested parties wanting to contribute to the communications efforts against COVID-19 and in support of vaccination and registration.
Access it here.
QR Code link to EVDS registration site
The QR code below links directly to the EVDS registration site. Please use it in any print or applicable marketing material to help spread the message.
Users simply need to open the camera app on their mobile phone and point it at the code. A notification will open on the phone taking them directly to the site to register.
A SUMMARY OF THE PRESENTATION TO MEDIA BY MARTIN KINGSTON [FRIDAY, 21 MAY 2021]
View the full media briefing here
News reports of interest
The weeks news, government announcements and interesting reading:
South Africa’s health care workers who’ve already received the J&J jab may be getting a booster shot. https://www.news24.com/fin24/companies/health/vaccinated-sa-health-workers-may-get-booster-shot-20210520
Bhekisisa’s Mia Malan gets to grips with the nitty-gritties of how the EVDS scheduling system works. https://bhekisisa.org/article/2021-05-20-how-long-will-you-wait-for-a-covid-vaccination-appointment-we-answer-your-evds-questions/
COVID-19 numbers are a concern in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) as the Nelson Mandela Bay metro reports 154 active cases: the highest number in the Eastern Cape. https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/eastern-cape/nelson-mandela-bay-metro-urges-caution-as-covid-19-cases-rise-55a8f035-145d-5d7c-acca-f90a284f34b7
You know someone who got the jab and still got Covid-19: here’s why. https://ewn.co.za/2021/05/19/analysis-here-s-why-some-fully-vaccinated-people-will-still-get-infected
WC Gov’t takes over SMS communication on appointment dates and venues
Mediclinic releases list of vax hospitals
WHO advisory: vaccines work but overseas travel not advised
Study from UCT & Groote Schuur: Seriously ill Covid patients in Africa more likely to die than other nations
HCWs will get booster shot in next few weeks (ImmunityBio’s hAds T-cell booster)
UK first to trail booster shot
Gauteng Health MEC tests positive for Covid (received her shot in Feb, not displaying severe symptoms)
Durban opens 16 vax sites
18 sites are open in WC: https://ewn.co.za/2021/05/19/18-vaccination-sites-now-operational-in-cape-town
Good EVDS Q&A by the brilliant Mia Malan from Bhekisisa: https://bhekisisa.org/article/2021-05-20-how-long-will-you-wait-for-a-covid-vaccination-appointment-we-answer-your-evds-questions/
Nelson Mandela Bay cases increase: https://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/eastern-cape/nelson-mandela-bay-metro-urges-caution-as-covid-19-cases-rise-55a8f035-145d-5d7c-acca-f90a284f34b7
Zimbabwe seeing Indian variant cases (will impose quarantine and tests for all arrivals from India): https://www.news24.com/news24/africa/news/zimbabwe-reports-first-cases-of-coronavirus-variant-from-india-20210519
Liberty’s retrenchment claims increase sixfold: https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/south-africa/2021-05-20-lockdown-retrenchments-increase-six-fold-as-covid-19-lockdowns-bite/
Gov’t / NCCC meeting this week to discuss lockdown measures for W3
India surpasses US as highest death rate in the world
Malawi, South Sudan destroying vaccines (expiry date issues from COVAX stock, Malawi had a public burning of their vaccines yesterday)
On why people still get infected after the jab
10 reasons why young people (>20) need to get vaccinated
Sanofi closer to vaccine success: in 2nd trial, 2 doses show 95-100% efficacy. Third, final trial will be in late May, early June and will test against Chinese and SA variants
FS hospitals under pressure from rising cases and protests
Concerns over short notice given to get to vaccination sites (e.g. SMS at 10 pm to get to a vaccination site at 8 am, could be problematic for elderly)
KZN records 0 deaths
In a bizarre turn of events, Texas bans mask wearing
UK vaccination programme – 2/3 of country have received first dose (and they are bringing the second dose forward because of Indian variant concerns). Also, vaccination acceleration is leading to restrictions being lifted
Covid-linked multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) undercounted in the USA
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OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS AND GUIDELINES ON COVID-19
All official government regulations and guidelines are available at https://www.gov.za/coronavirus/guidelines
NICD website: http://www.nicd.ac.za
COVID-19 information website: https://sacoronavirus.co.za
Coronavirus 24-hour Hotline: 0800 029 999
Coronavirus WhatsApp: 060 012 3456
Business for South Africa fully supports the decisive action taken by President Cyril Ramaphosa and the government to help mitigate the health, labour market and economic impacts of the coronavirus. As organised business, we are actively collaborating with government to use business resources and capacity to support public sector initiatives.
We have mobilised volunteer resources from across South Africa business bodies and organisations, member companies large and small, professional services firms as well as communication specialists, to form focused working groups that are driving a coordinated and proactive programme to mitigate the economic, social and health impacts of COVID-19 on South Africa.