More than 960 000 people in South Africa have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, President Cyril Ramaphosa has said.
Ramaphosa said this on Sunday, May 30, during his address to the nation on the developments in the country’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Two weeks ago, we started the second phase of the vaccination programme, targeting the balance of our health workers who had not yet been vaccinated during the first phase and all those in the country who are over 60 years of age.
“This follows the first phase of the programme, in which nearly 480 000 health workers were vaccinated… Over the last two weeks, over 480 000 people have received the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine as part of the public vaccination campaign.
“Because the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses to provide maximum immunity, these people will need to have the second dose 42 days after their first dose.
“In total, over 960 000 people in South Africa have received one vaccine dose. Within the next few days, we will have administered vaccine doses to more than one million of the most vulnerable South Africans,” Ramaphosa said.
The president confirmed that more than 67% of public health workers had already been vaccinated while receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which only required a single dose.
The total #vaccinated under the Sisonke Programme is 479 768. The total vaccinated in Phase Two as at midnight today is 488 551. These vaccinations were with the first dose of Pfizer vaccine. Total individuals vaccinated; Sisonke and Pfizer first dose is 968 319 #VaccineRolloutSA pic.twitter.com/mGKmE3p578
— Department of Health (@HealthZA) May 31, 2021
Ramaphosa said since the evidence showed that older people were at greater risk of severe COVID-19 illness and death, his government had prioritised them for the second phase.
“It has been heart-warming to see images of our elderly citizens receiving their vaccine, and to read the many stories of kindness and solidarity from those who have visited a vaccination site.
“The positive experiences of the rollout so far reflect both the dedication and professionalism of our healthcare workers, and the intense preparation that has gone into ensuring that the rollout is successful,” Ramaphosa said.
He said a significant number of the elderly had encountered difficulties in registering on the Electronic Vaccine Data System (EVDS), mainly due to the “lack of access to the tools needed to register online, such as a computer, internet access or mobile phone, or difficulties following the instructions in English.
“We are working to get around these problems, and a huge drive to support the elderly to register is underway”.
He said since this was the first time that this system was being used, it was understandable that there had been some initial problems, which had inconvenienced people and sometimes caused delays.
“Fortunately, these have been attended to quickly and the system is being continually adapted and strengthened as the rollout proceeds,” said Ramaphosa.
“This forms part of the province’s scale-up approach to make more sites available regularly, as the number of vaccinations administered increases daily,” Premier Alan Winde said on Saturday, May 22.
The following sites are already up and running:
- Pelican Park Clinic
- Mathew Goniwe Clinic
- Brooklyn Chest Hospital
- Helderberg Hospital
- Mitchells Plain Hospital
- Khayelitsha Hospital
- Karl Bremer Hospital
- Brackenfell Clinic
- Gugulethu Community Health Clinic
- Hanover Park Community Day Centre
- Cross Roads Community Health Clinic
- Dr Abdurahman Community Day Centre
- Inzame Zabantu Community Day Centre
- Heideveld Community Health Clinic
- Mitchells plain Community Health Clinic
- Nyanga Community Day Centre
- Gugulethu Clinic
- Eerste River Clinic
- Cape Town Civic Centre (Occupation Health office)
Winde said the Western Cape had also reported 3 762 active COVID-19 infections, with a total number of 293 436 COVID-19 cases and 277 881 recoveries as of May 28. Four additional deaths were reported on Thursday, May 27, bringing the total number of COVID-19 related deaths in the province to 11 793.
To register for the vaccine, you will need to visit: https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za
You can also dial *134*832# and follow the prompts (FREE on all South African Networks), or WhatsApp the word REGISTER to 0600 123456.
Picture: Cape Town Etc gallery