Dear colleagues and students
After almost a year of operation, the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, located at the Forest Hill residence complex in Mowbray, will close on Friday, 29 July 2022. I am extremely grateful and proud of all staff, students and everyone involved in this important project.
The vaccination centre brought us hope during a trying time, at the height of battling against COVID-19. Our staff and students, as well as the broader neighbouring communities, benefitted from the convenience of having the centre at our doorstep.
The site also formed part of the Sisonke trial, ensuring approximately 4 246 health care and other frontline workers received their second dosage of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as well as booster shots. In total, over 26 400 vaccinations and boosters were administered at the site.
Additionally, approximately 400 final-year MBChB students were supported in completing a mandatory training programme for the administering of vaccinations. These students had the opportunity to experience a public health initiative and witness collaboration between UCT and the Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness.
With the introduction of popup sites and many other vaccination centres around the province in recent months, usage at the site has decreased and it is no longer viable to operate our vaccination centre. It is always a bittersweet moment when a project reaches a handover or closure stage; but the relationships that have been built will remain special and the team can reminisce with joy over the past 11 months, including the opening in August 2021.
We convey heartfelt thanks to the Forest Hill residence staff and students, who generously allowed us to use their grounds in pursuit of a higher purpose. A special thank you to the project team from UCT and the provincial health department; the implementation team that included colleagues from the UCT Properties and Services department; and all cleaning, security and ground staff who helped maintain the premises.
We also express our gratitude to the UCT Communication and Marketing Department and the communications team from the provincial health department.
All these various departments collaborated in creating one of the most impactful and beautiful sites in the province. The operations team of the province must also be commended for the high quality of service, professionalism and kindness shown as commented on by visitors to the site.
With the closure of the UCT Community of Hope Vaccination Centre, if you still require access to a COVID-19 vaccination site please visit the CovidComms SA website to find an alternative site.
Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng
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