For latest information on South African COVID-19 Resource Portal go to sacoronavirus.co.za
Toggle Bar
Aurum Group reaches milestone of 20 000 COVID-19 vaccinations administered

Aurum Group reaches milestone of 20 000 COVID-19 vaccinations administered

The Aurum Group has administered more than 20 000 COVID-19 vaccinations in just over a month, with the number of people getting their shots increasing daily.

“We continue to pick up momentum and the demand for the service has grown exponentially. We are now vaccinating well over 1500 people per day across our sites,” said Dr Dino Rech, Aurum Group Strategy and Business Development Officer.

Impressive

“The performance of vaccine delivery at sites managed by the Aurum Group has been superb,” said Jane Simmonds, Research Manager at the South African Medical Research Council. She is assisting the Solidarity Fund on the national project to rollout vaccine sites, particularly at retail stores. This Aurum Group vaccination project is sponsored by the Solidarity Fund and is implemented by The Aurum Institute and affiliates CHAPS, Innova and YHA. “The numbers of vaccines delivered is impressive and the sites have maintained high vaccine levels for the last two to three weeks. The Aurum team have been extremely professional and effective in building relationships with the retail partners and district health officials,” said Simmonds.

Trained and experienced

Aurum has 15 sites in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng, the North West and KwaZulu-Natal, set-up at retails stores for easy access and convenience for the public. Each has trained and experienced clinical and administrative staff.

Aurum is ideally placed to run this project having been part of the initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout for health workers. The organisation is also an experienced global vaccine research partner. “We have the skills and expertise and we’re committed to making an impact on public health, so we had to step forward and play our part in the national vaccination rollout.  This is a ‘Team South Africa’ success story, where the private sector, government and the NGO sector have come together to offer these additional vaccination delivery sites,” added Rech.

This was echoed by Simmonds, who said; “COVID-19 cannot be beaten without multi-sectoral collaborations… this model needs to be used going forward to address many (other) health issues in South Africa…”.

Instrumental

Jacqueline Pienaar, CHAPS CEO coordinated the planning and rollout of Aurum vaccination services across the country. She said over and above the funding, the Solidarity Fund has also provided support and guidance in site preparation and Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS) functionality. “They have been really instrumental in us being able to deliver high quality services to the diverse communities,” she said.

At the sites, Pienaar said she observed that while some people are getting vaccinated, others are still hesitant. “I’ve seen people standing around a looking at the set-up, discussing the process among themselves. Almost as if they want to see others get the vaccine first, then see if it’s safe.  We are asked if we will be there the next day – indicating that people are interested, but they want more time to decide, and we are happy to provide all the information they need.”

Greatest impact

Pienaar believes that as the national rollout is ramped up, so should the communication to the public. Information and awareness should reach people where they are and in ways which speak to them.  “We work towards engaging with focus and motivation to improve the demand and subsequent uptake of vaccinations by engaging people and hearing their concerns, so that we can actively address these. Accessibility of vaccines has to work hand in hand with creating demand, in order for us to make the greatest impact,” she said.