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The entrance to the registration process. (Image: Business Insider/Ntando Thukwana)
  • Discovery started administering the Covid-19 vaccine last week, out of its headquarters in Sandton, Johannesburg.
  • An increasing number of private sites are involved in South Africa's vaccine drive.
  • On average, 2,400 people get the vaccine at their site and about 400 vials are used, every day.
  • This is how the process works.
  • For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za

Discovery began administering Covid-19 vaccines at its Johannesburg headquarters in Sandton last week, alongside a growing number of private facilities involved in the country's second phase of the vaccination rollout.

More than 11,000 vaccines have been administered with an average of 2,400 people getting the vaccine each day.

Like all other sites, the company is using the two-dose Pfizer BioNTech vaccine distributed by the government.

Patients must be registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) and present their confirmation SMS and electronic voucher. Discovery says it is able to take walk-ins under very special circumstances – but strongly prefers individuals who are scheduled on the system.

See also | Vaccine walk-ins older than 60 are welcome for now – but that may change as things settle

About 550 people are scheduled every two hours. 

This is how the process of Covid-19 vaccination works at Discovery's HQ, from arrival to departure.

Arrival takes place on parking level B6 of the building. 

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Patients arriving. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)

A portion of the parking floor is reserved as a waiting area for patients.

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Patient waiting area. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)

Just before making their way up to the vaccine site, patients get checked for their temperature and hands are sanitised. 

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After a temperature reading, comes mandatory hand sanitisation. (Image: Business Insider/Ntando Thukwana)
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Temperature check. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)

They then make their way up to the lifts that lead to the ground and first floors.

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Lifts, admitting a maximum of 4 people, lead to vaccination floors. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)
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Lifts, limited to four people, get sanitised. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)

These floors are dedicated to administering the vaccine. Each lift is sanitised before patients go in, and only four people are allowed in a lift at one time.

The next step is the patient registration process.

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The entrance to the registration process. (Image: Business Insider/Ntando Thukwana)
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Registration for the ground floor. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)
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Registration for the first floor. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)

There are two registration sections with each reserved for either the vaccination site on the ground floor or the one directly above.

Then patients wait at another designated area, just before they get their Covid-19 vaccine.

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Waiting area just before you get your shot. Ground floor. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)
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Waiting area just before you get your shot. Ground floor. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)
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First floor waiting area just before the shot. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)

The building's air circulation system was bolstered with the help of air conditioning engineers, Discovery says, with high-efficiency filters and more rapid replacement of air.

Then, they finally get their jab.

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Vaccine cubicles. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)
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Vaccine cubicles. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)

The Covid-19 vaccines are administered out of 30 cubicles which are spread equally between the ground floor and the first floor. 

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A patient receiving the vaccine. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)

Each booth keeps a cooler box that has the Pfizer vaccine vials in fridge-like storage. 

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The cooler box that stores the Pfizer vaccine just before it gets administered. (Image: Business Insider/Ntando Thukwana)

The Pfizer vaccine is kept at temperatures between -70°C to -80°C for long term storage. Facilities for the -70°C to -80°C refrigeration not on the site. The vaccine can be kept at -20° for two weeks and -2°C to 8°C for a further 30 days, all of which is being managed on site. 

A strict temperature monitoring is adhered to, its system is linked to a mobile app that alerts the pharmacists and the clinical oversight managers and communicates for instances such as loadshedding and other factors that have the potential to interrupt the cold chain, Discovery says.

There is a six-hour window, and the building has emergency power generation.

Each vial has a total of six doses in it and Discovery uses up about 400 a day which translates to a daily average of 2,400 jabs administered.

At least four to five day's vaccine stock is kept on hand.

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The vaccine vial. (Image: Business Insider/Ntando Thukwana)

0.3 ml of the vaccine is drawn out of the vial.

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A syringe containing 0.3 ml of the vaccine. (Business Insider/Ntando Thukwana)

After receiving the vaccine, the patient is sent to the observation area.

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Patient observation area. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)
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Patient observation area. (Image: Business Insider SA/Ntando Thukwana)

Before leaving, every patient is required to be observed for 15 minutes, however, patients who demonstrate particular risks get observed for an extended period for 30 minutes. 

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