Over-18s in SA could get Covid-19 shots before September

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By Kelly Jane Turner Time of article published16m ago

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South Africans over the age of 18 could receive their Covid-19 vaccine sooner than the initially planned date of September 1, said the Department of Health.

The department’s spokesperson, Foster Mohale, told IOL that the matter of opening the roll-out to the 18-34 age group is under discussion and an announcement will be made once it is finalised.

In an interview with 702, Health Minister Joe Phaahla, said they were in consultations with the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) and the roll-out could open for all adults to get vaccinated by the end of this week.

More than 9.5 million vaccine doses have been administered in South Africa.

Mohale said the country has a sufficient amount of Covid-19 vaccine doses to open the roll-out to all adults over the age of 18.

Last week during a media briefing, deputy director-general Nicholas Crisp, who is in charge of the roll-out, said the demand for vaccines has decreased in the 35-49 age group.

The age cohort had a very good start but they have not sustained it, he said.

The first 48 hours after registration opened about 1.5 million people registered on the Electronic Vaccination Data System (EVDS).

Since the expansion to the age group started on 15 July, 3 million people have received a Covid-19 vaccine, however, there are 12 million people between the ages of 35-49 in the country.

Mohale said the uptake of people being vaccinated has been fluctuating.

“The government in collaboration with private sector, civil society organisations is looking at various demand creation strategies to increase vaccination registration and uptake,” he said.

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