SA may need to revisit vaccination targets

Deputy President David Mabuza watches as 22-year-old Babalo Magqabi gets his first jab at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium during the Vooma Vaccination campaign.

South Africa may have to revise its target of vaccinating 70 percent of the population by the end of the year, said Deputy President David Mabuza during the launch of the Vooma vaccination weekend in the Eastern Cape.

Speaking at the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium in Gqebhera in the Eastern Cape, Mabuza said the target now seemed like a “tall order”. 

South Africa is aiming to vaccinate 40-million South Africans against Covid-19 by the end of the year. The latest statistics show that 23.5-million South Africans have received at least one vaccine dose. 

”It now looks far-fetched. it looks like we will have to revise the target. 70 percent seems a tall order judging by the time left now – we are in November and December is next month. The pace of vaccination has slowed down, and we think it’s mainly because of these conspiracy theories which are flooding social media. We used to vaccinate about 300 000 people a day, but now we are far below that figure,” said Mabuza.

More information needed on the vaccines

Mlamli Ndlondlo who arrived to get his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine said he was only getting the jab because he travels so much.

”If it were not for my sporting career which requires me to travel across the world, I would not have vaccinated against Covid 19.”

Ndlondlo says social media is flooded with information that scares people away from getting vaccinated.

”The problem now is that there are only campaigns to vaccinate and none about the vaccines themselves. There is not much known about the vaccines, and so people are afraid of what will happen -the after-effects of the vaccines. There should be more education about the vaccines before asking people to vaccinate,” he said.

Mabuza said achieving herd immunity has to remain the country’s goal, and urged leaders to increase their efforts to rally all residents to get vaccinated.Health-e News


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