Discovery chief executive Adrian Gore says that his company is working alongside the government to provide Covid-19 vaccinations to South Africans.
In an emailed letter sent to clients, Gore said that approximately 700,000 healthcare workers still need to be vaccinated in the initial stage of phase 2 of the programme which starts on Monday (17 May).
Gore said that vaccine deliveries have been underway to 87 approved vaccination sites across the public and private sector.
These initial sites will expand in number in the next two weeks, with the intention to expand to 3,000 vaccination sites at the peak of rollout during July and August.
Sufficient stock has been procured to deliver 6.5 million doses to people by the end of June.
“Current delivery information indicates that there is no anticipated shortage of supply, and consequently, reaching vulnerable groups by end of July is achievable,” said Gore.
“The pace of implementation will be moderate in the first few weeks to ensure operations are running smoothly and efficiently – and will accelerate thereafter. This is a prudent approach, based on learnings from global experience.”
Discovery’s vaccination sites
Gore said that Discovery is setting up several vaccination sites to support the mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign, and to assist its clients and members of its administered schemes to access vaccinations.
“These sites will be operated by Discovery Health and include Discovery offices, various Virgin Active clubs across the country and large venues such as Gallagher Estate,” he said. “Our sites will come online in a phased approach, ultimately resulting in more than 20 sites across the country.”
Gore said that the exact timing and location of sites is pending accreditation and vaccine supply from the Department of Health.
“Our head office, 1 Discovery Place in Sandton, is one of these sites and has already been transformed into a highly efficient, large-scale vaccination centre, with over 30 vaccinators capable of administering over 2,500 vaccinations per day.
“It will be run on a booking-only basis, with a valid token received by SMS from the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).”
Vaccination is free at the vaccination site for every South African resident, Gore said.
“For medical scheme members, the costs of vaccines and vaccination will be funded by their medical scheme, with no impact to your medical savings accounts and available benefits.”
What you need to do and what you can expect
Gore said that if you are member over 60 years of age:
- Register on the Department of Health’s EVDS. This is mandatory. Based on your registration details, EVDS will issue you with your unique token when it is your turn to be vaccinated. Without this token, you won’t be eligible for vaccination. You can also register by dialling *134*832# or WhatsApp the word REGISTER to 0600 123456
- Also register on the Discovery Vaccination Portal. The web-based platform provides support throughout your vaccination journey, including personalised pre-vaccination communication, making sure that your vaccination experience is streamlined and efficient, and provides access to a digital vaccination certificate.
“The over 60s who have registered on EVDS will start receiving SMS’s outlining their scheduled vaccination day, time, and site near their home or work over the next few days,” Gore said.
“Remember, there are still over 700,000 healthcare workers who need to be vaccinated as the priority, so the scale up will be gradual over the next one to two weeks. Please do not go to a site before you are invited to do so via SMS.
“If you are younger than 60 years of age, assist those in your community to register as per above; and await further communication on your specific eligibility.”