There are enough Covid-19 vaccines in the country, but the roll-out programme has lost momentum, with a marked dip over the past fortnight, the department of health said on Tuesday.
(Photo by Luba Lesolle/Gallo Images via Getty Images)
The benchmark to vaccinate more than 200 000 people in one day against Covid-19 became a reality when 223 969 vaccines were administered on Monday, 19 July. This brings the total number of adults fully vaccinated to nearly 1.8-million.
The total number of vaccines on Monday might be even higher because the 24-hour report shows only vaccines recorded on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS). Vaccination records captured on paper are added later.
A week ago the country vaccinated just over 146 000 people. Despite civil unrest causing vaccine sites to temporarily close down in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal the nationwide drive to vaccinate citizens continued in large parts of the country.
Voluntary registration for people aged 35 years and over opened on 15 July.
The national online registration statistics board does not yet show a breakdown of how many people in the 35 to 49 age group have registered but it is suggested that younger age groups show overwhelming support to be vaccinated. A local government vaccine dashboard in the Western Cape shows nearly 327 000 people in the 35 to 49 age group have registered in less than a week.
From today, Tuesday 20 July, the programme will include the vaccination of prisoners. After starting vaccinating prison officials on Thursday 15 July, the programme will now see inmates get their Covid-19 jab at 90 approved sites in correctional centres across the country.
“There is a high risk of inmates being exposed to Covid-19, due to the limitations of physical distancing in correctional facilities,” reads a statement from the department of health. “The department of correctional services has prioritised vaccination of both officials and inmates to ensure their protection and that of the general public.”
As of Monday South Africa recorded 7 209 new Covid-19 infections, bringing the number of cases since the start of the pandemic in March last year to 2 302 304 cases. Another 321 Covid-19 related deaths were reported in the past 24-hour report period. South Africa’s death toll now surpasses 67 000 Covid-19 deaths.