President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday evening announced South Africa’s Covid-19 vaccine roll-out will open for people over the age of 18. Here’s what you need to know.
Vaccine roll-out: 18 to 34-year-olds
Ramaphosa said people between the ages of 18 and 34 will be vaccinated from 1 September, in addition to the age groups currently eligible for vaccine registrations and walk-ins.
Moreover, Ramaphosa said people may now “present themselves at a vaccination site without an appointment and be registered and vaccinated”.
This after South Africa reached the milestone of vaccinating more than 240 000 citizens every day.
“A month ago, this figure stood at around 100 000 vaccines per weekday. As a result, we have now administered more than 6.3 million vaccines, with over 10% of our population having received a dose.
“We are now able to allow people to present themselves at a vaccination site without an appointment and be registered and vaccinated,” he said.
35 million before Christmas
Ramaphosa said an additional 31 million doses of the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be delivered within the next three months, while the sourcing of vaccines from other manufacturers is also under way.
At this rate, deputy director-general of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Dr Nicholas Crisp said South Africa would be “able to have vaccinated, at least one dose, 35 million people before Christmas”.
That is the target that we have set and that we are chasing.
Vaccinations for 35 to 49
Acting Health Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane earlier this month confirmed the roll-out for people over the age of 35. At the time, the department “was encouraged by the increase in Covid-19 vaccinations per day,” the minister said.
While registrations began on 15 July with inoculating initially scheduled for 1 August, citizens who are registered have been able to get their jabs simply by visiting vaccination sites around the country.
The health minister said they were increasing mobilisation in the provinces with the aim of encouraging people to be vaccinated.
Latest Covid-19 statistics
South Africa reported 9 718 new Covid-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the total reported cases now to 2 377 823, while deaths have reached 69 775.
At the time of publishing, recoveries had reached 2 158 183, leaving the country with a balance of 149 865 active cases. The total number of vaccines administered now exceeds six million.
Gauteng accounts for the majority of new cases (2 674 or 28% of the daily total), followed by the Western Cape with 2 444 cases (25%) and KwaZulu-Natal with 1 330 cases (14%).
Limpopo reported 820 new cases, while Mpumalanga had 809 and North West 619. In the Free State, 320 people contracted Covid, along with 542 in the Eastern Cape and 160 in the Northern Cape.
“The total number of cases today (n= 9 718) is lower than yesterday (n= 12 056) and lower than the average number of new cases per day over the 7 preceding days (n= 11 818). The 7-day moving average daily number of cases has decreased.”