Outlying communities in the Western Cape, that may previously have struggled to access transport to and from vaccination sites, can now receive their jabs close to home at a Vaxi Taxi mobile vaccination site.
This is thanks to a partnership between the Western Cape Department of Health, Accelerate Cape Town and Old Mutual. They have joined forces to pilot Vaxi Taxi mobile vaccinations starting in Atlantis, Cape Town.
The Vaxi Taxi mobile vaccination service aims to boost vaccination uptake in previously underserved, rural communities and forms part a partnership to take vaccination to every corner of the Province.
Kickoff in Atlantis
Western Cape Minister of Health, Dr Nomafrench Mbombo, who officially launched the service in Atlantis today, said: “It will take a whole-of-society approach to conquer Covid-19, that is why I am pleased by the partnership between the Western Cape Government and Old Mutual to take vaccines to the people. It is also clear that to get more people vaccinated we will need to have a tailor-made approach. It can’t be one-size-fits-all. With these taxis, we will be able to reach out to where people are and vaccinate as many people as possible. Thank you Old Mutual for this initiative.”
Mosala Phillips, chief marketing officer of Old Mutual, said that as a business deeply rooted in communities, the insurer is pleased to collaborate with the public and private sectors to accelerate the rollout of the vaccination campaign.
Reaching the elderly
“Vaccination is the most powerful tool to protect everyone from the Coronavirus. It’s critical we use all the resources at our disposal to ensure we reach outlying communities, especially the elderly and most vulnerable, who may otherwise have struggled to access transport to reach vaccination sites.”
The Vaxi Taxi mobile vaccination service will be rolled out to easily accessible sites, such as outside supermarkets, community centres, workplaces and educational institutions.
Call for partnerships
“Lack of access is a significant barrier that impedes people from receiving the vaccination,” said Accelerate Cape Town CEO, Ryan Ravens. “We need all key players in the fight against Covid-19 to partner and move beyond business-as-usual to deliver innovative solutions, much like the Vaxi-Taxi mobile vaccination service. As Omicron drives fears of South Africa’s fourth wave, the launch of this collaborative project is aptly timed as we look to increase vaccination numbers in an effort to achieve population immunity.”
Four Vaxi Taxi ambulances and a ‘trokkie’ have each been equipped to vaccinate up to 250 people a day. Each unit has sophisticated cold-chain refrigeration, waste-management processes and IT infrastructure, and the capability to administer both the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
Department of Health nursing practitioners will be on hand to administer the vaccines, as well as answer any queries and concerns about the vaccine in order to increase vaccine confidence.