Organisations taking stock after the first phase of vaccinations for Cape homeless

Brendon Louw getting his vaccine from Sister Esmeralda Hope. Picture: Siyabonga Kalipa/Weekend Argus

Brendon Louw getting his vaccine from Sister Esmeralda Hope. Picture: Siyabonga Kalipa/Weekend Argus

Published Aug 11, 2021


Cape Town - Following the successful vaccination of homeless people last week, organisations and networks led by and supporting street people say they are currently analysing data and the vaccination operation and are looking forward to commencing with the second phase of the programme.

The Hope Exchange director Reverend Annie Kirke said the first phase of the homeless vaccination administered at their site attracted 148 homeless people, with 147 under 60, and one over 60 years. She said only 17 had no identification and no idea of an ID number while 131 either had an ID or could recall their ID number.

“The first phase went very well. We have received an incredibly positive response from the street-based community and appreciation that they could access the vaccine. The programme was a very smooth and well organised process at The Hope Exchange and with the Department of Health team who were organised, relaxed and helpful. We are meeting with the department this week to look at further sites to roll out the vaccination for street-based people,” she said.

Strandfontein Homeless Committee member Carlos Mesquita said nine other sites including Hout Bay, Somerset West and Kraaifontein have been identified and dates for the commencement of the second phase would be announced. He said the committee was now intensifying the fight for the homeless to obtain their IDs.

The Haven Night shelter founder Hassan Khan whose programme started three weeks back with the elderly and targeting homeless people living in their shelters and surroundings has reached close to a thousand individuals, including their staff.

“We are motivated by the positive feedback and the acceptance of the vaccine from the homeless community. We have managed to convince and educate them of the benefits of the vaccine as they are a vulnerable group and we are hoping that more are coming to get vaccinated,” said Khan.

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Cape Argus