Concern as new stats show only 29% of KZN’s population has been vaccinated
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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Sihle Zikalala has lamented the province's low vaccination rate which shows that only 29% of the province's 11.5 million people have taken the Covid-19 jab.
Describing it as a “tragedy that is unfolding right before our eyes” Zikalala said the provincial government will increase the vaccination centres in the province in the hope of inoculating 7.2 million people by the end of December.
Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday on the progress the province is making in its fight against the pandemic, Zikalala said it was unfortunate that people don't want to get protected against the virus and have chosen to believe the misconceptions around the vaccine.
“It is again most tragic and unfortunate that all the myths, lies and misconceptions that some people have been spreading about the safety of the Covid-19 vaccine, seem to have found fertile ground in the hearts and minds of many people. This, despite a large body of scientific evidence that points to the safety and efficacy of these vaccines. As a result of this, only about 2,997 598 million or 29% of all people from KwaZulu-Natal who are eligible, have come forward and got vaccinated.
According to data presented by the provincial government in the 18 – 34 years age group, 2, 403 504 (11%) have been vaccinated while only 13% (3, 052 262) in the 35 -49 years age group have been vaccinated.
In the 50 – 59 years age group 808 981 (31%) have been vaccinated while 58% of people over the age of 60 years (955 048) were vaccinated.
Zikalala said they planned to increase vaccination sites via the following platforms:
• Healthcare facilities
• Mass Vaccination sites
• Community halls
• Tertiary institutions
• Occupational Health sites
• Taxi Ranks
• Pension pay points
• Shopping malls
• And door to door engagement.
It comes as new figures show a 50% decrease in the number of new Covid-19 infections.
As of the latest 24-hour reporting period, the province of KwaZulu-Natal Province recorded 1 new Covid-19-related death.
This has brought to 14 704 the total number of Covid -19 – related deaths in KwaZulu-Natal since the beginning of the pandemic.
The eThekwini Municipality continues to contribute 35% of the reported deaths, which amounts to 5 235 deaths.
Of the total number of fatalities, 231 or 2% of them occurred at home, Zikala noted as a concern.
“We are of the view that even though our infection numbers are low, the very fact that Covid-19 is still killing our fellow compatriots should make us all worry. One death due to Covid-19 is one death too many – let alone 14 704 deaths. These statistics speak of a tragedy of great proportions, because these are not just numbers, but lives that we have lost.
Among these people were breadwinners who were much-loved. They were our brothers and sisters; fathers and mothers, aunts and uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers. Once again, may their souls rest in peace,” Zikala said.