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Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic
The Shoprite Group is eager to see a rapid vaccine roll-out programme and continues to actively engage with the Department of Health.
The Group is ideally positioned - with an established, efficient and expanded logistical and pharmaceutical distribution network in place - to assist the South African Government with the distribution and administration of COVID-19 vaccines to save lives and aid the country on its road to economic recovery.
As the country’s largest private employer, the Group wants to see vaccination of its frontline workers (which includes cashiers, merchandisers and line management retail workers) - who have been working tirelessly to ensure food supply to the over 20 million customers the retailer serves every month - prioritised.
The Group believes it is critical for its employees to be vaccinated and that the focus should be on reaching population immunity. Employees qualifying to be vaccinated according to the government's roll-out plan are encouraged to do so. Vaccination however remains a personal decision.
Transpharm Pharmaceutical Distributors is one of three distributors that will be assisting the National Department of Health with the distribution of ancillary items (including syringes, diluents and swabs) needed in the administration of the vaccines at the numerous vaccination sites around the country. This is a critical part of the vaccine roll-out programme, as no vaccines can be administered unless the proper syringes and diluent also arrive at the site on time.
MediRite, the Group’s chain of pharmacies, is working with the Department of Health to facilitate an effective and rapid COVID-19 vaccine roll-out programme. This requires the significant scaling up of facilities across the country, both in number and geographic distribution.
MediRite’s current community pharmacies are well placed to become COVID-19 vaccination sites: they are easily accessible to customers across all income levels and already set up and equipped with the necessary facilities and employees to administer the vaccines.
Approximately 100 MediRite pharmacy sites are registered on the Master Facility List (MFL), however the activation of each site will depend on the demand in those specific areas, as well as the type of vaccine available at the time.
The identified sites are easily reachable. A geo mapping of the entire country is currently in progress. Once the gaps have been identified, MediRite may make more facilities available in the event that it has suitable sites in the required areas.
MediRite’s frontline health workers have already been included in the first phase of the Government's roll-out programme.
“We are truly grateful for the hard work, dedication and ongoing efforts that our great team has made as frontline workers in the pandemic and we look forward to them being prioritised as the COVID-19 vaccine programme rolls out.”
– Pieter Engelbrecht, CEO of the Shoprite Group
Following the World Health Organization's guidelines, the South African Government remains the sole central procurer and distributor of COVID-19 vaccines in the country; and vaccine allocations will be according to its identified vaccine roll-out programme.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Group has done whatever is in its power to help combat the spread of the virus and assist those in need. Please see some of the activities highlighted below as we stand united in support of our employees, communities and business - all working together to end this pandemic.
The Shoprite Group is urgently calling on Government to allow its more than 140 000 employees, who serve over 25 million people a month, to receive vaccinations as the third wave of COVID-19 increases in severity.
As news of the coronavirus and its spread through South Africa broke, the Shoprite Group quickly developed an action plan that would form the core of its response to this devastating pandemic.
Healthcare workers at the Klerksdorp-Tshepong Tertiary Hospital were honoured by the Shoprite Group this week for their selfless acts of service.
The Checkers Gauteng division surprised medical personnel and healthcare workers at the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital with a performance by members of the world-renowned Soweto Gospel Choir - observing all Covid-19 protocols.
The Shoprite Group recently showed their appreciation for the healthcare workers fighting the Covid-19 pandemic at the National District Hospital in the Free State.
Healthcare workers and Covid-19 patients at the Rev. Dr Elizabeth Mamisa Chabula-Nxiweni Field Hospital and Uitenhage Provincial Hospital received a donation of more than 600 care packages and two microwaves from the Shoprite Group this week.
With funding for South Africa’s Covid-19 R350 grants running dry for many, and jobs under threat due to the economic fallout from the pandemic, the Shoprite Group is increasing its food security efforts, and working to ensure job security for its massive workforce.
Medical and support personnel as well as COVID-19 patients at the Oudtshoorn Hospital received a donation of care packages from the Shoprite Group last week.
Checkers Queenstown donated some much needed care packages containing essential toiletries, snacks and water to the Covid-19 patients at the Frontier Hospital last week.
MediRite now offers the cheapest Covid-19 rapid antibody tests in South Africa. The tests cost just R129.99 each, and are available from the MediRite pharmacies conveniently located in Shoprite and Checkers stores across the country.
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