Only recently, the Health Department announced that the vaccination registration and subsequent rollout would be extended to individuals over the age of 50. Now, acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has announced that those aged between 35-49 are eligible for the vaccine. Registration is to open on the 15th of July, with the rollout commencing on August 1st. In the midst of a third wave, South Africa is currently experiencing record-high infection and death rates. As per the latest figures, deaths due to the virus currently sit at 63,499. First published on MyBroadband. – Jarryd Neves
Covid-19 vaccine rollout extended to over-35s in South Africa — when you can get it
Acting health minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced that 35 to 49 year-olds would be able to register for their vaccine from mid-July, with the rollout set to begin in August.
Kubayi-Ngubane said in a media briefing on Friday that the Health Department has also secured funding from Treasury to start administering vaccines on weekends. This is also set to start around 1 August.
While Gauteng continues to be the epicentre of the third wave of Covid-19 infections, Kubayi-Ngubane said that it appears that the country is now reaching its peak in cases.
However, she said that there was now concern that the third wave would start to increase in other provinces, including the Western Cape and Limpopo.
The minister said that the relevant dates for the rollout of vaccines for people 35–49 years old were as follows:
- Registrations — 15 July 2021
- Rollout — 1 August
Kubayi-Ngubane also confirmed that the Chinese Coronavac vaccine is set to be used alongside the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines in South Africa after receiving regulatory approval.
The announcement that Covid-19 vaccine sites will operate over weekends and that vaccines will become available to younger people is a major boost for South Africa’s vaccination programme.
According to the Media Hack vaccination calculator, 4,017,442 vaccinations have been administered in South Africa since the start of the Sisonke Trial on 17 February 2021 at an average of 28,492 vaccines per day.
At this rate, assuming that South Africa will mainly rely on two-shot vaccines such as the one produced by Pfizer-BioNTech, it will take another 7 years and 8 months to vaccinate 67% of South Africa’s population — the target to obtain herd immunity.
If South Africa is to reach this target and inoculate 40 million people by the end of the year, the average vaccines administered will need to increase to around 450,000 per day.
South Africa reported 22,910 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday.
Deaths have reached 63,499, and the country is currently tracking 208,847 active cases.