Clicks to open 268 more Covid vaccination sites in the coming weeks

Pharmacy retailer Clicks says its vaccination programme continues to gain momentum, having administered 596,180 vaccinations nationally by the end of August 2021 via 300 vaccination sites.

Clicks said it plans to open a further 268 sites in the coming weeks, with 568 sites expected to be operating by the end of September 2021. “This will give Clicks the capacity to administer approximately 615,000 vaccinations each month,” it said.

In mid-August, Clicks launched an online booking portal for Covid vaccinations. Before booking an appointment on the Clicks online portal, eligible individuals first need to register on the Department of Health’s Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD) said Monday that 217,752 Covid vaccination jabs were administered around the country over the past 24 hours, taking total doses to 14,922,954 to date in South Africa.

This means there are now 10,860,605 citizens who have received a jab in the country out of the 39,789,201 adults targeted by the government.

In addition, the Department of Health said 7,330,517 people have been fully vaccinated.

Meanwhile, the country reported 2,640 new infections, taking the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases to 2,860,835, while 125 Covid-19 related deaths have been reported, taking the tally to 85,002 deaths to date.

The NICD said that the current surge is showing signs of a sustained downward trend. “There has been an increase of 163 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours,” the NICD added.

Civil unrest

In a trading update on Tuesday (14 September), Clicks said that during the widespread civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in July 2021, 52 stores and one Body Shop store were looted and vandalised. The affected stores represented 6% of the group’s store base.

By 31 August 2021, 34 of these stores had been reopened. A further 8 stores have since been reopened, and currently, 11 stores remain closed.

“It is expected that a further 5 will be reopened by the end of the first half of the 2022 financial year and 4 in the second half. The final 2 damaged stores are scheduled to open in the 2023 financial year,” it said.

The UPD and Clicks distribution centres in KZN were both looted and damaged and reopened on 26 July 2021 and 16 August 2021, respectively, the group added.

As previously advised, Clicks said that it incurred additional costs for private security services to protect the distribution centres and air transportation costs to supply medicines from Johannesburg to UPD customers in KZN.

The group said it has adequate South African Special Risks Insurance Association (SASRIA) and general insurance cover for material damage to assets, stock and business interruption.

The total SASRIA claim amounts to R726 million, comprising loss of stock of R522 million (carrying value of R334 million), replacement of fixed assets of R182 million (carrying value R61 million) and other costs of R22 million.

“It is not yet possible to quantify the full impact of business interruption on the group’s revenue and profitability as the timing of the reopening of stores is dependent on shopping centre owners.”

Clicks said it has received its first interim insurance payment of R217 million from SASRIA, which will be accounted for in the 2021 financial year.

Owing to the impact of the civil unrest outlined above and the fact that only 30% of the total SASRIA insurance claim has been accounted for to date, Clicks said it expects headline earnings per share for the year ended August 2021 to increase by 0% to 3%.

Excluding the impact of the civil unrest, the group HEPS would have been within the 8% to 13% increase range previously communicated to shareholders.

In a trading update for the year ended, August 2021, Clicks said that retail health and beauty sales, including Clicks and the franchise brands of The Body Shop, GNC and Claire’s, increased by 8.3% (2020: 8.4%) over the prior financial year.

“Sales in the last seven weeks of the financial year were significantly impacted by the civil unrest in KZN. In addition to the store closures due to damages and the temporary store closures at the peak of the violence, trading in the affected areas remains well below the levels of the previous year, and this is expected to continue in the short term.”

UPD increased turnover by 12.3% (2020: 11.2%) over the prior year.

Group turnover from continuing operations increased by 10.2% (2020: 10.5%), it said.


Read: Clicks launches new online Covid-19 vaccination booking portal

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Clicks to open 268 more Covid vaccination sites in the coming weeks