Western Cape vaccination drive gains momentum as third wave peak approaches
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WHILE Western Cape health officials scale up services and prepare for the peak of the third wave, there has been a dramatic increase in vaccinations last week.
Nearly 150 000 vaccinations were administered in the province this past week. On Monday, 23 379 people were vaccinated, 27 296 on Tuesday, 30 005 on Wednesday, 33 206 on Thursday and 33 189 on Friday.
In a statement, the provincial Health Department said that they should be able to keep up the numbers in the coming week.
“On Friday we received 58 500 vaccines. These vaccines, along with the remaining doses from last week, will enable us to have the capacity to administer 30 000 vaccinations per day and 150 000 for the week.
“The public can again expect approximately 200 active public health vaccination sites across the province – this excludes the outreaches services,” the department said.
This week, those aged between 35 and 49 were also given the go-ahead to register for the vaccine and some even showed up at vaccination sites and were given the jab.
This age group was expected to receive their jabs from August 1. The health officials said they were accepting walk-ins at vaccination centres, but that they were given according to priority.
First priority are people 60 years and older requiring their first dose of the Pfizer vaccine and second priority to those requiring their second dose. The third priority are people aged 50-59 requiring their first dose of Pfizer vaccine followed by people aged 35-49 years with a valid appointment SMS.
While the vaccination drive gained momentum, Western Cape hospitals remained under pressure due to the consistent number of Covid-19 patients being admitted.
Head of the provincial Health Department, Keith Cloete, said: “Beaufort West Hospital is under increasing pressure due to admission increases... and on the West Coast there were 16 cases on one farm and 13 at a distillery in the area.”
He added that in the Cape Town metro area hospitals were at 90% capacity of designated Covid-19 beds in critical care wards.
Cloete said that they were monitoring oxygen supplies to hospitals daily.
“The combined public-private utilisation is now 54.15 tons/day or 77.36% of the maximal capacity (70 tons/day) at the Afrox Western Cape plant.”
By late Saturday afternoon, Mossel Bay had the highest number of active cases in the province with a total of 1390.