During a media briefing, the acting Minister of Health, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, announced that South Africans between the ages of 50 years and over will be able to register for the Covid-19 vaccine. This is set to be in motion from next month.
“From the 1st of July 2021, we will open registrations for all citizens between ages of 50 years and above. We will also schedule those vaccinations to begin on the 15th of July,” Kubayi-Ngubane said.
The minister further added that they are concerned about how vaccine demands have dropped in the over 60 population, IOL reports.
“As a group which is most at risk, we are worried about the decrease in the demand of vaccines in this group and we cannot afford to leave them behind. We understand that this is as a result of high vaccine hesitancy and difficulties of accessing the technology as well the vaccination centres that are not easily accessible,” she stated.
Meanwhile, the Western Cape continues to see a spike in not only Covid-19 infections, but hospitalisations and deaths as well. The breakdown suggests an average of 1 039 new Covid-19 diagnoses each day.
Head of Health in the province Dr Keith Cloete said: “Case numbers are increasing rapidly now… There are currently 12695 active infectious cases. This is 4427 more active cases (53%) in the last week alone.”
According to IOL, the numbers also show 1 180 patients who have been admitted with Covid-19, suggesting an increase of 68% since mid-May.
Western Cape premier Alan Winde has urged residents to be alert while helping to flatten the curve.
“I call on residents to once again flatten the curve and save lives.
“We are now well and truly in the third wave, and residents must be on high alert, practising the lifesaving behaviours that we have learnt over the past year.
“While we have taken numerous steps to prepare our platform for the third wave, each of us must play our part in preventing the health care system from being overwhelmed and, in turn, preventing avoidable deaths,” he said.
He further mentioned that it’s important to open the vaccinations to other age groups to prevent any delay.
“There is no reason why this shouldn’t happen already, while vaccinations of those over 60 continue,” he said.
“I am worried we are leaving registration to the last minute, and we should rather be getting as many people registered now so that we can have a seamless change to the next phase – without any delays.”