Cape Town - Nearly 5 000 Covid-19 booster doses have been administered in the Western Cape.
This comes after the National Health Department said it would begin with the roll-out of the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson booster doses for eligible residents following approval from the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra).
From December 24, the National Vaccination programme provided the J&J boosters to anyone who received their primary dose at least two months prior and preferably before six months after having received the primary dose.
As of December 28, the Pfizer boosters became available to anyone who received their last dose at least six months after the second primary dose.
In the Western Cape, around 3 546 J&J booster doses were administered and 1 111 Pfizer boosters.
Health Department spokesperson Mark van der Heever said the uptake of vaccines over the last two weeks has generally been low as a result of the festive season and public holidays.
“It may be too early to do an accurate assessment of readiness or hesitancy to accept the booster doses,” Van der Heever said.
“Individuals aged 50 and older remain more vulnerable and should be encouraged to access booster doses. At present we are seeing higher proportions in this age category accessing the boosters,” Van der Heever said.
National Health Department spokesperson Foster Mohale said: “We didn’t expect a higher number during the festive period. The booster will benefit everyone, especially immuno-compromised individuals, that is those living with comorbidities, and healthcare workers, because of their work environment.”
The province reported 35 538 active Covid-19 infections, and 615 740 confirmed cases with 559 771 recoveries as at 1pm yesterday. Around 20 431 people have died due to Covid-19.
Around 4 469 651 vaccine doses have been administered in the province.
On whether the dwindling of vaccinations should be a cause for concern, spokesperson for Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo, Nomawethu Sbukwana said: “I don’t think so for now… we will be on the road again reminding them to get their booster jab and those that are delaying taking the vaccine will again be reminded to take it.
“We will be constantly updating our vaccination sites on all our social media platforms.”