Maverick Citizen

MAVERICK CITIZEN

There are no vaccinated patients in intensive care units in Eastern Cape hospitals – but men still reluctant to get the jab

Noluvuyo Coka-Magasana receives the Covid-19 jab from vaccinator Bongani Nxumalo on the Transnet vaccination train, the Transvaco. (Photo: Deon Ferreira)

Statistics released by the Eastern Cape Department of Health show that vaccines have a significant effect on the number of people being hospitalised with Covid in the province. There are no vaccinated patients in intensive care units being treated for complications related to the coronavirus.

No vaccinated patients have been admitted to intensive care units in Eastern Cape hospitals with Covid-19-related complications, the head of the Eastern Cape Department of Health, Dr Rolene Wagner, said this week.

According to departmental figures, 5,277 patients with Covid were admitted to public and private hospitals between August and September this year. Of those, 3,596 were hospitalised in August and 1,681 in September.

Of the 5,277 people who were hospitalised, only 302 were vaccinated. This means that 4,975 patients were unvaccinated at the time of being hospitalised.

“It is also worth noting that if you get vaccinated today and you contract the virus a day or two later, your body has not yet built up antibodies, but when you are hospitalised, you will be recorded as having been vaccinated,” Wagner said.

She added that 81 people were admitted with Covid-19 complications to intensive care units in both private and public hospitals between August and 22 September. A total of 28 were admitted to ICU in August and 53 in September. None of them had been vaccinated.

“This once more points to the fact that being vaccinated protects you against serious disease, hospitalisation and death.”

She said in the past two months, 78 vaccinated people had died and that the cause of their deaths was being investigated. 

“These are people who had comorbidities and did not necessarily lose their lives because of Covid-19, but because they had underlying conditions they were also being treated for. Their deaths are being investigated to confirm the likely causes of death. 

“All of the above statistics are consistent with the scientific evidence to date that being vaccinated protects you against severe disease, hospitalisation and death. The converse is also true – not being vaccinated means you have a significantly higher chance of being hospitalised, requiring critical care and even dying. 

“We do want to encourage anyone who has Covid-19 symptoms to be tested. And if you are confirmed to have Covid-19, to remain vigilant and seek care,” Wagner added.

The province last week surpassed the goal of having a million fully vaccinated adults and also of having administered more than two million vaccine doses. The Eastern Cape is currently ranked second, after the Western Cape, in the total percentage of its adult population that has been vaccinated, with 35.4% of those over 18 having received the jab.

MEC for Health Nomakhosazana Meth in the Eastern Cape playing pool at Kompano Tarvern while encouraging men to vaccinate. (Photo: Hoseya Jubase)

Meanwhile, provincial MEC for Health Nomakhosazana Meth visited the Kompano Tavern in Mthatha, had a drink and even played pool with customers in her ongoing efforts to encourage more men to get vaccinated. 

Last week she suggested that young, unmarried women should consider withholding sex from unvaccinated men. Meth said the government has consistently expressed its concern over the low numbers of men turning up at vaccination sites.

In the Eastern Cape, women make up 61.98% of the vaccinated population. Men lag behind at just more than 38%.

“It is too low. It is not good enough. We are doing everything in our power to encourage our brothers, fathers and grandfathers to do the right thing and get vaccinated. 

“We have campaigns mainly aimed at men where we take the life-saving jab directly to them [in places] like taxi ranks, malls, restaurants and places of having fun,” she said.

Meth said evidence needed to be gathered on why men were so hesitant or dismissive of the vaccine. MC/DM

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