CTICC vaccination site closes: 'It was always intended to run for 5 to 6 months'
- The CTICC mass vaccine site will officially close its doors on Friday
- Discovery's Dr. Ron Whelan says the mass centre was only vaccinating 10% to 15% of its total daily capacity
- According to Dr. Whelan, the mega-site was never intended to remain open indefinitely
The mass vaccination centre at the Cape Town Convention Centre (CTICC) is shutting down this week after opening its doors during the previous wave of Covid-19 infections.
The site was created through a partnership between Discovery Health, the CTICC, the Western Cape government, and City of Cape Town.
Dr. Ron Whelan, the head of Discovery's Covid-19 task team, says the site was created to provide "surge capacity" during the early days of the government rollout.
He says the venue was "always intended to run for somewhere around five to six months."
Dr. Whelan says Discovery has seen a major drop in demand at the mass vaccination centre because people are transitioning to smaller sites closer to their homes as vaccine accessibility increases.
The mass vax site was designed to accommodate over 3,000 people a day but the vaccinations rate is now somewhere between 350 and 100 vaccinations per day.
He says the closure of the CTICC venue will not have a negative impact on the broader rollout because there are over 3,000 vaccination sites across the country that offer Covid-19 jabs.
"As a result, people are choosing more convenient locations closer to home so demand dropped off significantly", he tells CapeTalk.
Dr. Whelan says he is confident that there's sufficient capacity in the system
He claims there has been a slight uptick in vaccination this week due to the emergence of the Omicron variant, fourth wave fears, and some high schoolers who have decided to get vaccinated after their exams.
The sites were primarily set up in the initial stages of the vaccination programme as surge capacity sites. When we started the programme in May/June, there weren't a lot of sites available.Dr. Ron Whelan, Head of Covid-19 Task Team - Discovery South Africa
It was always intended to run for somewhere around five to six months as the rest of the provider capacity came online.Dr. Ron Whelan, Head of Covid-19 Task Team - Discovery South Africa
We got sufficient provider capacity online through the various pharmacies, GP practices and other sites across both the Western Cape and nationally.Dr. Ron Whelan, Head of Covid-19 Task Team - Discovery South Africa
I think most of us will remember our Covid-19 vaccination experiences.Dr. Ron Whelan, Head of Covid-19 Task Team - Discovery South Africa