South African Covid-19 Vaccination Drive 'Losing Momentum'

There has been a marked drop in the number of vaccines given daily, says deputy-director in the Health Department, Dr Nicholas Crisp. The country is losing momentum in its vaccination drive, Crisp said during the national weekly update on Covid-19.

"[On Thursday] we only registered 53,000 and that is a very poor show," he said. When registrations opened for over-35s more than a million did so in 24 hours. Data showed that the 35-to-49 age group started strong but had not sustained an interest. Crisp said the country has vaccinated 9.2 million people so far but there was a lot of room for improvement.

Meanwhile,Health Minister Dr Joe Phaahla said he was encouraged by the continuous downward trend of active cases in the country. "But we cannot relax. We cannot lower our guard," he said. Phaahla added that while cases in Gauteng were on a downward slope the third wave was like a relay race. "As one province goes down another province takes over."

He said the Western Cape now has the most active cases, with a continuous trend of highest new daily infections, active cases and hospital admissions. As of August 13, 2021, over 2,568,511 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the country of which 76,247 proved fatal and 2,344,896 resulted in recovery while over 9.2 million vaccinations have been administered.


Nurse Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi, the first healthcare worker in South Africa to receive the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine (file photo).

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