File picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Western Cape tops vaccination count in SA, public hearings proposed to address fears

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Sep 15, 2021

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Cape Town – Nearly 1.8 million Western Cape residents have been vaccinated against Covid-19, with the latest statistics from the national Department of Health showing that the province has the greatest percentage of adults vaccinated.

With over 1 795 000 residents vaccinated in the province by yesterday, this represents 36.07% of the country’s population.

DA health spokesperson Wendy Philander nevertheless encouraged residents on Wednesday to continue to join the vaccination drive and receive their life-saving jabs that are proving to curb adverse effects and offer excellent protection against serious illness related to Covid-19.

“Saphra has recorded 86 deaths after immunisation and not a single case could be linked to anyone receiving any of the Covid-19 vaccines used in South Africa. Our health officials are doing incredible work to make sure that vaccines are safely distributed, received by health facilities, and given to eligible residents,’’ said Philander.

’’Another clear sign of the efficacy and safety of Covid vaccines comes from a report at Groote Schuur Hospital this month which showed that only three of 156 patients who have been hospitalised for Covid-19 have been vaccinated.

’’Moreover, none of the 66 patients in ICU and 32 patients on ventilators have been vaccinated. Getting vaccinated offers a stronger defence against Covid-19; it really and truly saves lives.

’’Still, we understand that a number of residents may be hesitant about getting vaccinated. South Africa has a long, sometimes complicated history in public health matters, especially in disadvantaged communities. Others are understandably anxious because they might not have received all the necessary information just yet to make an informed choice.

’’That’s why, as the chairperson of the Standing Committee of Health, I will propose that the committee embark on mini-public hearings in the Western Cape. The purpose is to listen to the fears that lead to vaccine hesitancy and withhold others from receiving their jabs.

’’The hearings will seek to identify how to target greater encouragement whilst understanding and addressing concerns of residents in the Western Cape where low turn-out has been recorded.’’

IOL

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