Covid-19 weekly round-up: Health department says there are no immediate plans for proof of vaccination cards or passports

By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published Aug 16, 2021

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South Africa has no immediate plans to require proof of vaccination for any purpose, according to Department of Health spokesperson Foster Mohale.

Several countries across the world are starting to implement proof of vaccination systems where people’s ability to travel, eat at restaurants, return to work or school, may require them to prove they’ve had their shot.

Mohale said that while there are currently no Covid-19 vaccination cards or passports required in South Africa, citizens need to be aware of the fact that some countries require travellers to provide proof of vaccination upon entry.

In South Africa and globally, the vaccine is not mandatory, however, demonstrating your Covid-19 status in some countries may be necessary.

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issues vaccination cards to those who have received their shots.

In England, the National Health Service issues a COVID Pass which shows people’s Covid-19 vaccination details or test results.

The European Union Digital COVID Certificate is being introduced across all 27 member nations, among them Switzerland, Iceland and Norway.

Demand for Covid-19 vaccines in the 35-49 group has decreased

The demand for Covid-19 vaccines has decreased in the 35-49 age group, said the Department of Health on Friday.

Deputy director-general Nicholas Crisp, who is in charge of the roll-out, said during a media briefing that the age cohort had a very good start but they have not sustained it.

Since the expansion to the age group started on 15 July, 3 million people have received a Covid-19 vaccine, however, there are 12 million people between the ages of 35-49 in the country.

In the first 48 hours after registration opened for the age group, about 1.5 million people registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).

Crisp said that South African women account for 60% of the total population who have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

The Department of Health has appealed to men to register for the vaccine.

Experts say it’s unlikely that we’ll avert a Covid-19 fourth wave

While South Africa may be on the other side of the Covid-19 third wave peak, experts say that the rate of decline has slowed and are already discussing a fourth wave of infections before the year ends.

South African Medical Research Council’s Professor Ameena Goga said that at the current rate of vaccinations, it’s unlikely South Africa will avert the fourth wave.

Senior researcher at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) Dr Ridhwaan Suliman said the rate of decline has slowed due to coastal provinces recording an increase in cases.

On Sunday, the majority of new cases were recorded in KwaZulu-Natal with 28% followed by the Western Cape with 26% and Gauteng accounting for 12% of new daily cases.

Suliman said the Western Cape is currently the epicentre of the third wave, however, new daily cases have decreased.

Western Cape head of health Dr Keith Cloete said there is a very real risk of a fourth wave and that the biggest mitigation will be to get as many people vaccinated prior to the next wave.

Keep an eye out next week for another round-up of the top Covid-19 stories.

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