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Western Cape reflects on the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccines one year later

As of Monday, 4 821 094 Covid-19 vaccines have been administered to the general public, excluding those who participated in the Sisonke Study. Picture: Supplied

As of Monday, 4 821 094 Covid-19 vaccines have been administered to the general public, excluding those who participated in the Sisonke Study. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 18, 2022

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Cape Town - One year ago, the Western Cape administered the highly-awaited Covid-19 vaccine doses to health-care workers at the Khayelitsha District Hospital, with President Cyril Ramaphosa present.

As of Monday, 4 821 094 Covid-19 vaccines have been administered to the general public, excluding those who participated in the Sisonke Study.

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Provincial Health Department spokesperson Mark Van Der Heever said the entire international and national uptake of vaccination had not met the expected targets due to a number of reasons, including hesitancy. In the province, 4 809 843 had received at least one dose and 2.3 million, or 46.6%, were fully vaccinated.

“These include the vaxi taxi going into hard-reached areas and low-uptake areas as well as going into people’s homes to provide the life-saving vaccine,” Van der Heever said.

The Western Cape recorded 6 526 active cases of the virus, 654 186 confirmed cases, with 625 992 recoveries, as at 1pm on Thursday. To date, about 21 668 people have succumbed to Covid-19 complications.

Last week, the World Health Organization’s director-general Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus and the Belgian Minister of Health visited the MRNA vaccine technology transfer hub at Afrigen Biologics and Vaccines, followed by visits to Crossroads Community Health Clinic and vaxi taxi to observe integrated care and vaccination.

Health MEC spokesperson, Nomawethu Sbukwana said: “This is by far the largest vaccination programme the Western Cape has ever undertaken. We are currently focusing on vaccinating residents aged 50-plus and people under 18 years with co-morbidities who have not yet accessed a vaccination centre on their own initiative.”

Meanwhile, Tygerberg Hospital is boosting its infrastructure to increase vaccination of pregnant women.

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“Covid-19 vaccines are safe in pregnancy, and it is the only way to decrease risk of Intensive Care Unit admissions and death,” the hospital said.

“The availability of Covid-19 vaccines for pregnant women in South Africa was an important landmark. Despite availability, the vaccination uptake in our high-risk pregnant population was low.”

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