Semakaleng Motsoere is a student journalist for Wits Vuvuzela. She captured the start of the second phase of the covid19 vaccine rollout at the Hillbrow Community Health Centre in Johannesburg on Tuesday, May 18.

The second phase of the vaccine rollout kicked off on Monday, May 17 nationwide. In Gauteng, 28 hospitals were identified as vaccine rollout sites. This rollout started just as the country’s third wave of the covid-19 pandemic hit. As a way to adhere to covid regulations, the Hillbrow Community Health Centre has a strict process in place that patients need to follow from arrival until they leave the health centre. 

Arrival at the Vaccine Site

Patients wait outside before operations start at the Hillbrow Community Health Centre. Photo: Semakaleng Motsoere

Upon arrival, patients wait outside of the building specifically being used as a vaccination site. The 20 chairs reserved for theare spaced out to observe social distance and are sanitized by the staff after each use. To keep order, patients are given numbers that secure their spot in the queue as they wait. Although operations start at 08:00 at the site, some patients were already in the queue at 07:30.  

Registration Area 

The registration area where patients undergo the verification process. Photo: Semakaleng Motsoere

Once the patient is sanitized and allowed into the building, they head over to the registration area. For crowd control purposes, only six patients are allowed into the registration area at a time. People accompanying the patients are asked to stay outside unless the patient needs assistance. 

This is where the verification process takes place. Staff check to see if the patient came in for their appointment on the correct date and if the person that is there is indeed the person registeredThey check this against the SMS that the patient received confirming their vaccination date and use their ID as proof of identification. 

Vaccination rooms

A nurse taking town down the patient’s information. Photo: Semakaleng Motsoere

When a patient has been registered, they go into the vaccination room where they consult with a nurse. The patient’s information is taken down and they are asked a series of questions before they proceed to receive their jab. 

Injection Time! 

A patient receiving her Pfizer vaccine. Semakaleng Motsoere

This is the moment that the patients have been waiting for. They are asked to pull up the sleeves of their shirts or dresses, the area where they will be injected is disinfected and the nurse injects them with the Pfizer injection, which is the only one currently in use in the country.  


Sarah Satar during observation. Photo: Semakaleng Motsoere

Sarah Satar (74) is the first patient to be vaccinated on this day. She patiently sits in a different waiting area for 15 minutes to be observed by the nurses for any immediate side effects caused by the vaccine. After the observation time, the patient is ready to go home. She will return for her second appointment at a later date, which will be communicated to her through another SMS. The rollout of the vaccine on the second day at this site went well, patients were assisted timeously, spending no more than an hour at the health centre. The staff makes sure the process is quick and easy for the elderly patients who have been waiting for months to get vaccinated. 

FEATURED IMAGE: Patients waiting outside the Hillbrow Community Health Centre. Photo: Semakaleng Motsoere


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