South Africa’s first tourism and hospitality industry Covid-19 workplace vaccination site will open at Sun City Resort’s Convention Centre, where the resort aims to vaccinate 7 500 people in three phases.

“We will start with Sun City staff, service providers and concessionaires, before offering the vaccine to their family members, and finally, to all those working at hospitality establishments in the Moses Kotane District,” said Sun City General Manager Brett Hoppe.

The resort also announced that the vaccination drive will include an outreach programme to target other locals from the surrounding area, “We obviously want to protect our staff, but it is equally important to us to ensure that people living in our local communities are looked after and are safe.”

The popular Sun International resort will follow the government roll out plan in terms of age groups, and already, more than 1 000 staff members aged 50 year and older, have been identified as vaccine candidates.

Hoppe said Sun City was in the process of collecting data on the 35 to 49-year age group, who would be allowed to receive the vaccine after July 15. Those with medical aid would have the cost of the vaccine deducted from their available funds, while the Department of Health will cover the cost of non-members.

The Department of Health has inspected the Sun City vaccination site and given approval for the site to operate until December, but the Resort aims to complete the programme within two months.

“We will have 15 vaccinators on site, who can each vaccinate 50 people per day. We will start with five vaccinators for 200 people for the first three days to iron out any potential glitches and then increase capacity. But we don’t anticipate any problems. Sun City is used to hosting events of the size and magnitude of the Nedbank Golf Challenge, so we are confident that the preparations for our vaccination site will be seamless.”

Hoppe said screening and registration would be done in the Convention Centre’s assembly area where 14 people would be served at a time. “Warrior’s Hall will be used for electronic vaccination data system confirmation and pre-vaccination vitals, while the Superbowl will be used as the vaccination, discharge and observation areas. Medics will be on hand to assist people should they show any sign of an allergic reaction, or to transport them to the nearby hospital.”

The venue has been divided to accommodate the different sections, in accordance with capacity regulations, and sufficient storage capacity for the vaccines as provided by the Department of Health has been provided.

Vaccinations will begin from Saturday, 24 July.

Sun City Vaccination site

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tourism sectorChef Norman Heath of the Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront