By Naadiya Adams
Cabinet has approved the vaccination of persons aged between 18 and 35 years as of Friday, August 20th.
Rumours of opening up the vaccine to the entire adult population has been on the cards for a few weeks, especially since the country’s vaccine drive has begun to lag.
While the drive was close to its 300 000 a day mark recently, numbers have fallen swiftly with only around 150 000 vaccinations currently being administered daily. Opening up the jabs for over 18s by the end of this week was part of the National Coronavirus Command Council’s (NCCC) agenda this week amid the lagging numbers of people getting the injection.
As misinformation continues to grip vast majorities of the population, bringing in the over 18s will drive the vaccine roll out once more and encourage those who are hesitant to get vaccinated.
South Africa received 10 million doses in recent weeks, with another 10 million set to arrive by the end of the month.
With the vaccine supply secured for the next few months, mobile and drive-thru vaccination sites are being set up throughout the country to drive vaccinations while many businesses are offering incentives for those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
The health department aims to fully vaccinate 70% of the adult population by December, for that target to be reached, the country will have to vaccinate 29 million adults by the end of the year.
By the end of last week, only about 10% were fully vaccinated.
In his most recent national address on July 25th, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced people between the ages of 18 to 34 would only be vaccinated against Covid-19 from 1 September, that date has now been brought forward.
While the vaccine drive pushes on, lowering lockdown restrictions does not seem to be likely, last week saw an average of more than 10 000 new infections per day.