The South African government has been harshly and repeatedly criticised for the slow rollout and execution of Covid-19 vaccinations. According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the target is to vaccinate 67% of the country’s population by the end of 2021, in order to achieve population-immunity. It seems unlikely that this target will be reached in that statistics provided by Our World in Data estimate that only 2.9 million South Africans (0.8% of the population) have been vaccinated so far. The third phase of Covid-19 vaccinations is set to commence on 15 July upon which people aged 50 and up are eligible to be vaccinated. This article, first published on My Broadband, explains how the process will work. – Nadya Swart
How vaccinations for people over 50 will work
South Africans over the age of 50 can register for vaccinations from 1 July 2021 and will be allowed to walk in at a vaccination centre to receive their jab.
This is feedback from Dr Nicholas Crisp, deputy director-general in the national Department of Health, who spoke to Netwerk24 about the next phase of vaccinations in the country.
Acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced last week that people aged between 50 and 59 would be able to register for the Covid-19 vaccines this week.
These vaccinations are scheduled to begin on 15 July.
Commenting on the programme, Kubayi-Ngubane acknowledged that the government would not meet its target of vaccinating over five million senior citizens by the end of June.
This, she said, is mainly due to vaccine hesitancy, a lack of technology for some citizens to register, and vaccination centres that are located far from people’s residences.
She added that the government was concerned about the number of people over 60 who have registered for a vaccine, which has continued to decrease.
The minister said that this was particularly problematic as this age group is most at risk and yet the majority of people have not been vaccinated.
While these challenges remain, Crisp said the government is ready to move to the next phase of vaccinations.
He provided details for people over 50 who want to register for vaccinations, summarised in the table below.