New data on the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccine can be seen among the country’s healthcare workers.
Medical staff have been at the forefront of fighting the pandemic since the first case in South Africa on 5 March 2020.
Healthcare workers were also first in line to receive the jab at the onset of the global vaccination roll-out strategy.
SA medical staff in Gauteng were part of the Sisonke Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine trial earlier this year.
Now the Gauteng department of health has revealed some positive feedback on vaccine effectiveness.
“Vaccines are working well in preventing Covid-19 infections in healthcare workers in Gauteng. Only 257 were infected in the third wave this year compared to 929 in the first wave last year,” said health MEC Nomathemba Mokgethi in a written reply to questions submitted by the DA’s Jack Bloom.
Mokgethi said “these are the early indicators of the effectiveness of vaccinations”.
According to Mokgethi, the number of health workers infected in the various waves was as follows:
- First wave in 2020 – 929
- Second wave in 2020-2021 – 376
- Third wave in 2021 – 257
“Significantly, a lot fewer health workers were infected in the devastating third wave in June to August this year, which was more than double the peak of the first two waves,” said Bloem.
There are now widespread efforts by the government and businesses to curb vaccine hesitancy, which is causing divisions among people and families.
Public conversations have been dotted with stories of fit, presumably, healthy people suddenly dying after getting their Covid vaccinations, which experts have maintained is not backed by facts but are falsehoods stirred vaccine hesitancy.
In his last address, President Cyril Ramaphosa came out strong on vaccines. He emphasised that South Africa could only return to normality if population immunity was achieved.
If more people get the jab in the coming months, the effects of a potential fourth wave, predicted for December, could be significantly reduced next year.