Clicks, the retailer, said this week it had prioritised supporting the national imperative to vaccinate as many eligible persons as possible and had to date administered more than 15 000 vaccines at its 60 retail pharmacy registered vaccination sites.

“We’ve seen an influx of enquiries from those over 60 who want to get vaccinated, and on behalf of family members who are eligible for the vaccine. After an initial slow start, the roll-out is going exceptionally well. We’ve had a phenomenal response from the public, with a high attendance and very few no-shows,” said managing executive at Clicks, Vikash Singh.

While Clicks vaccination sites initially only operated from Monday to Friday, Singh said that in response to customer requests, the vaccination sites now also operated on a Saturday.

The retail pharmacy chain has been working closely with the Department of Health and Business for South Africa to support the national vaccination strategy and are using all the tools and processes provided by them.

All vaccinations at Clicks sites are currently handled using the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) SMS voucher process, which ensures that stores are allocated the correct number of vaccines based on confirmed appointments for that site.

“We’ve also been using our store network to educate our customers on how the EVDS system works, for example helping the elderly register on their smartphones and providing leaflets at our clinics and FAQs on our in-store screens and radio,” he said.

“The fundamentals are now all in place and the target of administering 50 vaccinations a day, per site, is manageable,” said Singh.

“Our objective is to have 602 registered vaccination sites.”

An additional 240 Clicks vaccination sites would be going live in the next two to three weeks, with around 40 to 50 new sites going online each week, depending on demand and vaccine availability.

“Stores in areas which don’t have easy access to other vaccination sites will be prioritised in the roll-out. Once all 602 sites are operational, Clicks will have the capacity to vaccinate 30 100 people a day, six days a week,” he said.

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