South Africa


Western Cape urges over-50s to get Covid-19 jab

Western Cape urges over-50s to get Covid-19 jab
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde. (Photo: Gallo Images / Brenton Geach)

Western Cape officials are asking that those over 50 who are not yet vaccinated get the jab ahead of a potential fourth wave. This comes as health workers are now able to receive a booster J&J jab.

‘We’ve got to get those jabs now,” urged Western Cape Premier Alan Winde on Tuesday. Winde, Health MEC Dr Nomafrench Mbombo and health departmental head Dr Keith Cloete held a media briefing on the province’s Covid-19 response and provided a vaccination update. 

Winde said the Western Cape was focusing on the over-50 age group for vaccinations. 

According to health department figures, 2,377,514 people over the age of 18 in the province have been vaccinated with at least one dose, and of those 1,950,316 (39%) have been fully vaccinated. 

A total of 1,407,309 people in the Western Cape over the age of 50 — 58.24% of this group — are fully vaccinated, with 6.04% partially vaccinated. Winde said Tygerberg, Central Karoo, Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha had seen a low uptake in this age group. The province is aiming for 85% of the over-50 age group to be fully vaccinated. 

The province is campaigning to vaccinate its population through drive-through mass vaccination sites such as the one at Athlone Stadium, pop-up sites, mobile units, engaging with the taxi industry and Golden Arrow bus services and spreading information on social media. 

Read in Daily Maverick: Save our jobs, save our summer by getting the jab, residents urged at Athlone drive-through vaccine centre launch

The province was now registering an average of 52 new cases, 15 hospital admissions and two deaths a day, said Cloete. 

MEC Mbombo said it was “guaranteed” that a fourth wave would come, but it was “up to us” to delay the wave. 

Cloete said the province was working with epidemiologists and the South African Covid-19 Modelling Consortium on projections for a fourth wave. At this point, he said, a fourth wave was predicted for the latter part of December, going into January. Modelling “will be made public” in a fortnight. 

Cloete said healthcare workers who had been vaccinated under the Sisonke trial would be eligible to receive a J&J booster jab. This would be offered from Wednesday, 10 November at selected sites.

Mbombo told journalists that as part of the mass Vooma Vaccination Drive, she would be in the Bergrivier Municipality towns of Velddrif and Piketberg this weekend to encourage vaccinations. DM


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