Vaccine vials in Pretoria.
(Photo by Gallo Images/Alet Pretorius)
  • Clicks will prioritise its pharmacies in places without access to other vaccine sites as it adds new centres dispensing Covid-19 shots.
  • The company says half of SA's population lives within 6km of one of its pharmacies.
  • It aims to activate 40 to 50 new vaccine sites per week, for a total of just over 600.
  • At that point it will be able to inject more than 30,000 people per day.
  • Just how many vaccine sites SA currently has, and where they are, is not public information.
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Retailer Clicks says it will prioritise more far-flung areas as it activates a targeted 40 to 50 new vaccine sites per week, for a total of more than 600 – which will put a big chunk of South Africa's population within physical reach of a shot.

"Stores situated in areas which don't have easy access to other vaccination sites will be prioritised in the rollout," said managing executive Vikash Singh in a statement on Thursday.

With more than 15,000 doses already administered, Clicks says helping 50 people per day is manageable, which will give it the capacity to administer more than 30,000 shots per day. 

Singh says 50% of SA's population lives within 6 kilometres of a Clicks pharmacy.

Who gets a vaccine shot when depends on where vaccine sites are located, with the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) working on the basis of catchment areas of either 10km in cities or 30km in rural areas.

But the national list of vaccine sites has not been updated in three weeks, so it is not clear how many rural areas are actually being served at present. 

See also | No, you can’t see the full list of SA's active vaccines sites – and we don't know why

Clicks says it does not accept walk-ins, but only those who arrive for EVDS-initiated appointments.

It says it has experienced very few no-shows, the primary reason cited for offering people older than 60 walk-in shots at other sites.

A large batch of J&J vaccines is expected to be released soon. The national rate of vaccinations continues to be slower than the arrival of doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, the only shot currently in use. 

(Compiled by Phillip de Wet)

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