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Free State to launch new vaccination sites

Staff Reporter

The Free State province is set to open three more COVID-19 vaccination sites this week as it steps up efforts to build herd immunity against the killer disease by the end of the year.

Premier Sisi Ntombela told the provincial legislature when she delivered her State of the Province Address in Bloemfontein on Tuesday the three additional vaccination sites will be launched at Fezi Ngubentombi Hospital in Sasolburg, Bongani Hospital in Welkom and Rosepark Hospital in Bloemfontein.

“We have adopted a decentralised vaccine roll-out approach,” she said.

“As we continue with the roll-out, we have now vaccinated 4 803 healthcare workers at Pelonomi and Universitas hospitals.

“We plan to vaccinate 1.9 million people over a 12-month period. Our target is 2 040 vaccinations per day.”

Building a herd immunity in the Free State means that 67 percent of the population which is 1.9 million of the 2.9 million people in the province will be vaccinated to minimise the transmission of the coronavirus.

Ntombela said the fight against COVID-19 will require the involvement of the entire society.

She said several healthcare facilities have been refurbished and upgraded for COVID-19 patients.

At least 1 588 permanent beds have been added across the province to improve the response to the pandemic.

As part of the response to COVID-19, the province has employed more social workers, psychologists, nurses, medical officers and cleaners.

“These appointments have contributed to our ability to respond to the pandemic whilst creating employment opportunities,” the premier said.

The new vaccine sites will bring to five the number of fully functional centres in the province.

More centres will be opened as the roll-out continues.

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