To: Editors & Health Journalists
Issued by: Department of Health
Date: Monday, 23 August 2021
FREE TRANSPORT AVAILABLE FOR SENIOR CITIZENS TO VACCINATION SITES
Pretoria: The Department of Health in collaboration with civil society partners will tomorrow, (Tuesday, 24 August) launch a Free Public Transport Pilot Project for persons aged 50 years and above to vaccination sites in selected provinces as part of efforts to ramp up vaccinations amongst this cohort.
This follows an announcement by Minister of Health Dr. Joe Phaahla last week during the media briefing that the government has joined hands with various sectors of the society to make every possible effort to increase access to vaccines, which include taking vaccines to the people.
Since the start of the vaccination roll-out programme more than 50% of people over the age of 60 years have vaccinated. The Department has significantly increased access to vaccine by increasing the number of sites from 200 at the start to almost 2500 public and private vaccination sites. Despite these efforts, the Department remains concerned that many older persons who are at highest risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19 remain unvaccinated.
This pilot project will be rolled out in Gauteng, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal from Tuesday, 24 August until Saturday, 4 September 2021. The results will be studied and analyzed to make a determination for national rollout to allow for more vulnerable citizens in hard-to-reach areas to access COVID-19 vaccine. This new initiative will complement other existing interventions currently being rolled out in other parts of the country.
We have planned for about 25 000 people in the targeted areas to use this service during the pilot phase, Metropolitan/Momentum and Discovery have provided increased capacity at their mass vaccination sites for this purpose. We would like to appeal to all the older persons including those who have already received their first doses in these areas to make use of this free service to go to the vaccination sites in these areas to receive their life-saving jabs to protect themselves.
Ms Andy Tingo: 083 988 2346
Ms Olga Ribeiro: 083 988 2346
For more information and media enquiries about the pilot project, please contact:
Department of Health Spokesperson
Cell: 072 585 3219