On Monday, 16 August the City of Cape Town and Western Cape Government launched the walk-in section of the Athlone Stadium mass site – the second ‘Vaccination Centre of Hope’. This will be followed by the launch of the drive-through component of the site in two weeks’ time.
This project is a partnership between the two governments for the benefit of the residents of Cape Town, to enable both, insured and uninsured residents, easy access to vaccinations.
At full capacity the site will be able to administer over 4000 vaccines a day through both its walk-in and drive-through sections, making it as big as the CTICC ‘Vaccination Centre of Hope’ and one of the biggest in the province.
Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde said this demonstrates the province’s commitment to a vaccination programme based on fairness, access and equity.
Mass vaccination site
“The philosophy of fairness and equity underlines the opening of the Athlone Vaccination Centre of Hope at the Athlone Stadium, which will bring a mass vaccination site closer to residents of the Cape Flats, while providing an efficient, well-run service. Every life matters, and so every person must have access to these life-saving vaccines. It doesn’t matter where you live, or what you earn,” said Winde.
The Athlone Stadium was chosen as it is easily accessible, via all forms of transport, to the broader Klipfontein community and serves a large majority of the uninsured population in the Cape Metro. In addition, the stadium is also very well known to the Cape Town community and resonates with the people of the Cape Flats such as Gugulethu, Nyanga, Heideveld, Hanover Park, Athlone and Manenberg.
This walk-through service will have 40 vaccination stations while the drive-through services will have five lanes. The drive-through will follow the same steps as a walk-through, with cars stopping at five stations, which will ensure that clients are successfully screened, registered, and vaccinated.
Drive-through services have proven to be more efficient
“Though the drive-through site will only be operational at the end of August, once operational, the site will be able to vaccinate almost 4000 people per day between the two service options. Though we continue to prioritise the over 60’s for their first and second dose, as we open up the last cohort (18–34-year-olds) we anticipate there will be a great demand to utilize this vaccination site by the younger age brackets” explained the Western Cape’s Head of Health, Dr Keith Cloete.
Globally, drive-through services have proven to be more efficient than a walk-through service as there is less burden for social distancing because people are in their cars. This allows for families to continue protecting their bubble as they will arrive in a vehicle with their family members. The drive through is outdoors, in open space. This makes a drive through a safer option. International evidence also indicates that drive through services can be offered in a cost-effective manner.