Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said although they had vaccinated over 2.1 million people in the province, they still thought it was going slowly because two weeks ago the province was on 2.08 million vaccinations. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)
Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said although they had vaccinated over 2.1 million people in the province, they still thought it was going slowly because two weeks ago the province was on 2.08 million vaccinations. File Picture: Doctor Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Concern over KZN’s lagging Covid vaccinations as the unvaccinated fill ICU beds

By Thobeka Ngema Time of article published Sep 6, 2021

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DURBAN - THE KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health revealed that 90% of those recently admitted to hospitals with Covid-19 had not been vaccinated against the virus.

Department of Health spokesperson Ntokozo Maphisa said feedback received from one of the war room meetings revealed that those who ended up sick and in need of the intensive care unit (ICU) and ventilators were not vaccinated.

Health MEC Nomagugu Simelane said although they had vaccinated over 2.1 million people in the province, the process was going ahead slowly. Two weeks ago the province was on 2.08 million vaccinations. In the past two or three months, vaccination numbers in the province were moving quickly; the pace had picked up, however, during and after the civil unrest, it changed.

She said negative perceptions and social media reports about the vaccines scared people off. Simelane said the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra) explained that those people did not die as a result of getting vaccinated.

Simelane said it was clear that a newspaper report affected people. Simelane said they had vaccinated over 70% of those aged 60 and above and wished they had completed that age group.

She said the uMkhanyakude District was the only district that had completed its elderly target, which was exciting because it was a very rural area.

Speaking on those aged between 18 and 34, Simelane said although they had not reached the number that they thought they would, that age group was coming out to get vaccinated.

“They are coming out a lot and I think the number that boosted us from 2.08 million to 2.192 million, it’s them that added a lot because they are excited … they want to get vaccinated. It is important for them to register.”

According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases, the majority of new Covid-19 cases have been recorded in KZN.

The province has recorded more than 490 000 Covid-19 cases, more than 412 000 recoveries and more than 61 000 active cases. Over the weekend KZN had recorded 13 718 Covid-19-related deaths.

Simelane said the province was still in the third wave. Recently, there were about 2 000 new cases, which reflected a slight decrease compared with the 3 000 new cases recorded in the past 14 days since last Friday.

“We don’t know if it’s an indication that our wave is going down. The numbers fluctuate. We note a decrease and then a sudden increase. We call on the public to continue following non-pharmaceutical interventions,” she said.

Daily News

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