Picture: Reuters
Picture: Reuters

Infections down, but Western Cape could do better on vaccine roll-out

By Shakirah Thebus Time of article published Oct 6, 2021

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Cape Town – The province has dropped below the 5 000 mark of active Covid-19 infections.

It recorded 4 561 active infections, 520 290 confirmed cases, with 495 877 recoveries recorded as at 1pm on Tuesday. Around 19 852 Covid-19-related deaths have been reported.

UCT’S Public Health Medicine head, Professor Leslie London, said the provincial vaccine roll-out started well, however it could do better. This entails reaching people in high-risk categories willing to be vaccinated, but who are not being reached.

“There have been efforts to undertake community outreach which have yielded positive results, but better co-ordination and better engagement with other community initiatives could greatly expand uptake.

’’I understand efforts to put this kind of co-ordination between non-profit organisations, community-based organisations and non-governmental organisations is now being implemented,” said London.

Recently, the province received a certificate of appreciation from President Cyril Ramaphosa for its vaccination drive, one of three province’s receiving special recognition.

“We have a province which has very good data systems and which uses the data to inform decision-making. This is very different to other parts of the country.

’’To the extent that having the data makes a difference to planning, we are doing relatively well in that regard. However, it is clear that the centralisation of data in the national Department of Health has not helped provinces to plan their roll-outs well,” said London.

The City vaccinated over 3 500 over the weekend, during the Vooma campaign. Only 4% of those vaccinated were over 60 years of age.

“Our target is to have 70% of all persons over 60 fully vaccinated by December. Currently, only 57% are fully vaccinated while 65% have received at least one dose.

’’The elderly remain our most vulnerable age group and I want to encourage our younger people to assist them to get vaccinated before an expected fourth wave of Covid-19 in December.

“Vaccination means fewer people will be hospitalised or die as a result of Covid-19 infection. Each vaccination brings us a step closer to our previous freedoms,” said Mayco member for Community Services and Health Zahid Badroodien.

Cape Argus

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