SA’s weekend vaccinations gathers momentum

By Rudolph Nkgadima Time of article published Jul 19, 2021

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With weekend vaccinations taking place in most parts of the country, this past weekend saw over 43 000 vaccines being administered.

About half of those vaccinations were recorded in Gauteng where 13 871 vaccinations were conducted and 8 992 in KwaZulu-Natal after both province’s vaccination program’s disrupted by last week’s unrest.

In a statement, head of communications at the Gauteng Department of Health Motalatale Modiba said: “We are taking this step to open these vaccination sites over the weekend to make sure as many people as possible are vaccinated.”

According to the latest National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile (NIDS-CRAM) report the lack of weekend vaccinations is the binding constraint to the South African vaccination programme.

The NIDS-CRAM report estimates that 1.3 million more vaccine doses – roughly 43% of the total – could've been administered in May and June if vaccinations at all sites were available on weekends.

“Given the convenience of weekend vaccinations for many workers, it is plausible that weekend vaccination rates may be higher than weekday vaccination rates,” the researchers said.

Acting Minister of Health Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane announced last week that from August 1, public vaccination sites will operate on Saturdays and Sundays, with the aim to reach 300,000 people a day.

On the vaccine front, over 5 million jabs have been administered in this country since the start of the government's rollout, with over 66 000 fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Meanwhile, registration opened for the 35 to 49 age group on Thursday. By Friday afternoon, 5.9 million people had registered for vaccination.

Dr Nicholas Crisp, deputy director-general of the national health department said this was extremely encouraging because it's going to increase the tempo of the programme dramatically.

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