South Africa uses int’l convention center to boost COVID-19 vaccination

South Africa’s Western Cape Province on Thursday announced that the Cape Town International Convention Center, a leading convention center in Africa, will be turned into the province’s first mass vaccination center over the next few weeks, as the coastal province is entering the third COVID-19 wave.

Shortly after Western Cape Premier Alan Winde announced this on a digital press conference, governments of Western Cape and its capital city Cape Town jointly said in a statement that they aim to complete the project before the end of June, which is expected to enable a “radical increase” in vaccinations.

The convention center, which assumed the responsibility of Western Cape’s first major field hospital from June last year for several months and will be the first of at least three planned major vaccination centers in Cape Town, is envisaged to be able to vaccinate over 4,000 people a day at its peak, with up to 50 vaccination stations, according to the statement.

As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, the Western Cape had vaccinated nearly 230,000 people in total, including healthcare workers who were vaccinated on the first phase of the national vaccination program and residents over 60 years old who are eligible for the current stage of the second phase vaccination.