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Covid-19 Vaccination Rollout Programme Under the Spotlight

August 10, 2021

Department of Health

The health department remains concerned about the rise of Covid-19 infections in the Western Cape.

Speaking during a media briefing on the vaccination rollout programme at the end of last week, the newly appointed health minister, Joe Phaahla, confirmed that the Western Cape has become the epicentre of the pandemic.

The minister expressed confidence that the “Western Cape Province has put containment measures in place to deal with rising hospitalizations and oxygen needs”.

He added that the department will continue to work closely with the provinces and provide all the necessary support to the containment efforts.

The minister noted that infections were also rising at an alarming rate in KwaZulu-Natal and the Northern Cape.

The minister pointed out that vaccine supplies are stable with currently over 10 million doses in the country.

“The supply of vaccine has stabilised and for the remainder of the year we expect to take delivery of another 21 million doses that are on order”, he said.

According to the minister, the Vaccine Ministerial Advisory Committee and the National Essential Medicines Committee have thoroughly examined the Sinovac and Astra Zeneca vaccines as possible additional vaccines for the country.

“Both are effective against the Delta variant and may be possible additional options in our fight against Covid-19”, he said.

Meanwhile, cabinet, in a statement following a meeting last week, announced that over 8 million South Africans have so far been vaccinated.

“At the current pace, the President should soon announce a revised target date for the country to reach population immunity.”

Cabinet confirmed that people can now go to any vaccination site with their identity documents, even without an appointment, to be registered and vaccinated.