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Western Cape legislators clash over who should get Covid-19 vaccine after over 60s

A MAN receives the Covid-19 vaccine. Picture: Ian Landsberg

A MAN receives the Covid-19 vaccine. Picture: Ian Landsberg

Published Jun 23, 2021


Cape Town - Western Cape legislators have disagreed over calls for the EVDS system to be opened up to people over the age of 40 next, instead of moving sequentially to those aged 50 plus, once the current campaign to vaccinate the over 60s is complete.

DA provincial health spokesperson Wendy Philander said: “The DA in the province calls for the EVDS system to be opened to people over the age of 40.

“At this stage, 60-year-olds are also still registering but, in opening up the system for the next targeted group, we can overcome the delays and challenges during registration, as experienced at the start of phase 2(a)”

According to the Department of Health guidelines, once a significant proportion - about 70% of the over 60s - have been vaccinated, the process will be opened to the 50s and, only after about 70% of them have had the jab, will the over 40s join the queue.

However, ANC provincial health spokesperson Rachel Windvogel disagrees with the proposal to change the health department’s system.

“While a far faster and wider roll-out is an artificial way to stimulate the flow of people taking up the Covid-19 jab, it is undesirable to rush the process, as it may cause bottlenecks and undue pressure on the system.

“The DA looks like a spoiled kid that just wants its treat – without considering other risk groups and citizens waiting patiently. The DA must learn to wait its turn and give the health machine time to shift into a higher gear when it is ready,” said Windvogel.

In making the proposal, Philander appears to be backing a measure originally suggested by MPL Peter Maraiss (FF Plus).

During a debate earlier in the month, Marais queried the rationale for the province’s age sequenced vaccinations and said that if people over the age of 45 were to be vaccinated at the same time as the over 60s, it would both protect the vulnerable and stabilise the economy.

In a different debate on vaccination in March this year, Marais said: “Young people who frequent clubs, bars and sports stadiums are more likely to spread Covid-19 than people in old age homes and, as such, should be the first to receive the vaccine after health-care workers.”

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