Narissa Subramoney
Copy rewriter
2 minute read
7 Jan 2022
1:00 pm

KZN has the lowest recorded vaccination uptake in SA

Narissa Subramoney

45.12% of the national adult population has received at least one Covid vaccine dose thus far.

Left: Leslie Sylvester, aged 67, receives his Pfizer booster at Athlone Stadium drive-through site, Right Thembani Mgxekwa, 54 years, got his J&J booster at the pop-up site at Spar, Khayelitsha Mall.

KwaZulu-Natal has the lowest vaccine uptake in the country, according to the latest data from the National Health Department, as of 6 January show that only 38.5% of KZN adults are vaccinated.

The coastal region is also South Africa’s second-most populous province and a tourism hotspot, but the province’s vaccine drives stagnated during the festive period, as officials struggled to convince residents, especially in the outer lying areas, to get the jab even before the festive season started.

Vaccine hesitancy appeared particularly high among Zulu men and in rural traditional villages.

Officials had to work hard to dispel numerous rumours around the Covid vaccine, including tackling misinformation that the jab leads to infertility, makes you evil/satanic, and a zombie.

ALSO READ: Vaccines won’t make you a Satanist, zombie, or infertile, says KZN MEC

By 21 December, the KZN Health department said that over 20 000 of its health workers were not vaccinated, as infection rates among the province’s health workers were rapidly rising.

The Free State and Western Cape appear to have had the most success in the national vaccine drive. Data shows that Free State leads the charge with the highest vaccine intake. At least 53.45% of adults have received at least one dose, followed closely by the Western Cape, with 53.55% of the total adult population.

The Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Northwest and Gauteng are next. 49.92% of Eastern Cape residents have received their jabs, followed by 46.72% in the Northern Cape, 44.29% in Northwest and 42.2% in Gauteng.

The lowest recorded vaccine uptake is in KwaZulu-Natal (38.5%) and Mpumalanga with 39.3%.

So far, 45.12% of the national adult population has received at least one dose. At least 70% of South African’s need to be vaccinated to achieve ‘population immunity’.

In terms of age groups, more than 66% of over 60’s have been inoculated, while 62.07% of people aged between 50-59 years of age have received their jabs.

49.61% of people aged between 35 and 49 years have received their vaccines, while the lowest intake is among younger adults aged 18 years and older (30.99%).

On Thursday, Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbambo appealed to the 18 years and older age group to get their vaccines before Universities opened their doors for the 2022 academic year.

“Once universities open, there will be an influx of young people on campus, vaccination, and non-pharmaceutical interventions such as wearing masks and sanitising remains paramount,” said Mbambo.

The government has repeatedly stated that South Africa can only return to some semblance of pre-Covid normalcy once population immunity is achieved.

The latest data from the National Health Department, as of 6 January show that only 38.5% of KZN adults are vaccinated. Picture – Department of Heath.