Momentum Health Solutions has announced its Covid-19 vaccine roll-out strategy and how it intends to support members, and the uncovered population, in being vaccinated.
The group warned that a third wave of the virus is imminent if the vaccination rollout does not commence soon. It added that a vaccine should be made available to the general public sometime in May or June 2021 – if current vaccine supply estimates hold true.
“We need to ensure that South Africa reaches herd immunity, as this is our strongest line of defence against the virus,” Dr Boshoff Steenekamp, Epidemiologist & Healthcare Strategist at Momentum Health Solutions.
“Having said this, this cannot be done with an individual mindset. It is only if we all come together that we have a greater chance of limiting the spread and hopefully eradicating the virus within the next few years.”
Damian McHugh, Executive at Momentum Health Solutions said that Momentum has ensured that it has a surplus in funds to cover the cost of the vaccine.
“The vaccine is considered a Prescribed Minimum Benefit (PMB) and will be covered in full by the scheme. Furthermore, Momentum Health Solutions is not only funding the vaccine for its members, but has ensured that it has mechanisms and funds in place to cross-subsidise citizens who are not part of a medical aid scheme.
“We believe that we are only safe as a society once the majority of citizens have been vaccinated.””
Momentum Health said it supports government in its phased approach that will see frontline health workers and high-risk citizens having first access to the vaccine.
“The intention is that once the vaccine is rolled out to the general public, it will be as simple as phoning your general practitioner and informing them that you would like to receive the vaccine, after which you will go to their practice and get vaccinated.
“We also expect to see employers registering to have vaccinations done on site, where they have occupational health facilities. We have already made the necessary preparations to assist employer groups in this initiative,” said McHugh.
Momentum said it will be making its facilities at employer sites available to the public to get vaccinated.
“In an unprecedented situation such as this, speed is of the essence. We have a great deal of insight and data relating to what the various vaccine rollout phases entail, such as the health profiles of our members and which segments should be prioritized.
“We can use this data in supporting government in its phased approach,” said Nomo Khumalo, head of Solutions Design, Momentum Health Solutions.
It is expected that the first phase of the vaccine rollout will aim to vaccinate approximately 1.3 million healthcare and frontline workers, while the second phase will focus on vaccinating essential service workers and people over the age of 60.
This will equate to approximately 20 million people. In the third phase, government has committed to vaccinating the general population which amounts to approximately 22 million people.
“Our telemedicine tool, Hello Doctor, will be a useful platform to keep members, as well as non-members, informed on vaccination procedures and protocols.
“We expect that the general public will start receiving the vaccine from May or June, however, supply remains a challenge and thus, this is an estimate. Details regarding exactly when the vaccine will start being administered remains unclear at present,” said Khumalo.
Momentum said it is in a ‘favourable position’ to support its members, as well as government due to the young age profile of its members.
“There is no quick fix to a rollout of this scale. It is our hope that there is a proliferation of vaccines that can deal with the various strains and vaccinate all South Africans. We hope for more supplies and remain committed to supporting government and all members of society in the fight against Covid-19,” said McHugh