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WCape intros online tool for COVID vaccination data

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The Western Cape Provincial Government (WCPG) has made it possible for its residents to remain updated on the latest about the COVID-19 vaccine, introducing an online vaccination dashboard.

This as the country has been placed on adjusted alert level two amid rising COVID-19 infection numbers, with president Cyril Ramaphosa noting the North West, Northern Cape and Gauteng as having entered the third wave.

According to the WCPG, its interactive, public-facing vaccination dashboard aims to give residents information on the province’s vaccination programme, allowing them to be part of the team effort to ensure everyone is vaccinated.

The online tool will also provide residents with data concerning vaccination registration, and eventually information about the vaccines, says the provincial government.

With the vaccination dashboard, Western Cape premier Alan Winde explains the latest registration data will be updated at 12pm, using the previous day's information as provided from the electronic vaccination data system (EVDS).

Says Winde: “While it may not be 100% perfect, because population numbers by area may have changed over the last year, it is a very useful tool to determine trends.

“The most evident trend so far is that registrations in poorer communities are much lower when compared to other areas. The main reason for this is the lack of access to the resources that would enable registration on the EVDS.

“This is very worrying to me. Vaccines save lives, and every life must matter, no matter where you live or what you earn. We must ensure a fair and equitable vaccination programme in our province.”

The WCPG says the dashboard includes a breakdown by the district and local municipality of residents who have registered for the vaccine, and a percentage of this relative to the eligible population.

In addition, it has a filtering capability that enables the provincial government to identify areas with low registration. Such data, says Winde, will enable targeted interventions to increase vaccine registration.

It also features an interactive heat map, which allows residents to zoom into their neighbourhood to see how many elderly people may reside in the community.

Furthermore, it provides a list of active vaccination sites, informing users how many residents are within a 1km-5km radius of the site. It also lists points of interest, which include the province’s free WiFi spots, religious centres, shopping areas, old age homes and government offices, among others.

Earlier this month, SA kicked off phase two of the mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign, targeting persons 60 years and above.

The national Department of Health has urged the elderly to use the various digital methods available to sign up for their COVID-19 vaccine. Registration is accessible via the EVDS portal, a WhatsApp line, USSD, as well as the COVID-19 toll-free hotline.

Government hopes to inoculate 46.2 million South Africans by March 2022.

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