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SA fights back: 23-million Covid-19 vaccines in arms, more urged to get the jab

07 November 2021 - 10:30 By TimesLIVE
The number of individuals fully vaccinated in Gauteng is sitting at 3.1-million.
The number of individuals fully vaccinated in Gauteng is sitting at 3.1-million.
Image: Lightbox

More than 23-million Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in SA so far, the health department says, as it targets 1-million more inoculations this week.

In densely populated Gauteng, the provincial health department at the weekend urged more residents to come forward, saying “getting 70% or more of the adult population vaccinated is [recommended so] that we can minimise the impact of the fourth wave.”

The province had administered 6.2-million vaccinations by Friday, with the number of individuals fully vaccinated sitting at 3.1-million, out of a population of 11.3-million.

Three out of every five people aged over 50 years in SA are vaccinated, the government said on Thursday, noting: “We need to get to five out of five [in this age group] vaccinated by the end of the year to kill the power of the anticipated fourth wave.”

Health minister Joe Phaala, in a separate briefing late last month, said the vaccination rollout had a steady momentum and he was confident that “by the middle of November, we will reach 40% of adults”.

“We are especially optimistic about reaching 70% of the above 60 years and close to 70% of the 50-59 years before the end of December.”

As part of efforts to shield people most susceptible to Covid-19's side-effects, health workers are in line to receive booster vaccinations from Monday under the Sisonke trials.

The government also recently announced that the first 260,000 people over 60 to get the jab were eligible to receive a R100 grocery voucher after their vaccination. The voucher is redeemable at Shoprite, Checkers and Usave stores across the country.

The National Institute for Communicable Diseases said on Saturday evening that 358 new Covid-19 cases have been identified, which brings the total number of laboratory-confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic in March last year to 2,923,751.

There has been an increase of 22 hospital admissions in the past 24 hours, with a further 24 Covid-19 related deaths, bringing total fatalities to 89,319.

The majority of new cases are from Gauteng (30%), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (18%). The Free State accounted for 15%, the Western Cape 11%, Mpumalanga 10%; the Eastern Cape 6%, North West and the Northern Cape 4% each, and Limpopo accounted for 3%.