Covid-19: Gauteng's target to have 70% vaccinated by mid-December is 'becoming elusive' - Makhura

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  • David Makhura briefed the media on Gauteng's latest Covid-19 and vaccination statistics. 
  • The premier said the goal to vaccinate 70% of the provincial population by mid-December was becoming "elusive".
  • As of Sunday, the province had administered 5.3 million doses, with 2.6 million people fully vaccinated. 

Gauteng Premier David Makhura said reaching the province's target of vaccinating 70% of its population by mid-December was becoming "elusive".

The province had set this ambitious target at the beginning of the vaccination drive.

"We are not retreating on our target of 70%, but the idea that we will meet 70% by mid-December is becoming a target that is elusive. The vaccination rate per day in Gauteng, on average during the week we are just between 52 and 58 000.

"We have fallen below the mid 60 000 daily vaccination rate. In September, we were doing extremely well. We were getting around 65-75 000," said Makhura, adding that they were worried about these figures. 

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On Monday, Makhura and the Provincial Command Council (PCC) gave an update on the province's latest Covid-19 and vaccination statistics.

Overall, indicators showed a stabilisation in the province's infection rate, with the number of active cases dropping to around 1 000. 

As of Sunday, the province had administered 5.3 million vaccine doses, with 3.7 million as first doses, and 2.6 million people fully vaccinated. 

Makhura said that at least 4.4 million people still needed to be vaccinated by mid-December.

He also expressed concern over the low vaccination numbers in townships in the south of Johannesburg. 

"Our townships are lagging behind. The substantial vaccinations are happening in more suburban areas, and the townships are lagging behind. Those townships in the south, Orange Farm and Palestine, we have the lowest number of vaccinations in the south of Johannesburg, that's where we have 11% vaccination in terms of just single doses," he said. 

READ | Children aged 12 to 17 eligible for vaccine jabs, won't need parental consent

Professor Bruce Mellado, of the PCC, said that, despite the province's numbers being stable, there was still a need to be cautious, especially with big events, such as the municipal elections, coming up, saying:

While the situation in the Gauteng Province remains stable and low risk, the risk of a fourth wave is very, very high. In fact, we predict that the fourth wave will hit sometime between November and January as we expect a number of super-spreader events to follow in a row. That's something we have to have in mind.

"We should not be confused or misled by the fact that we are currently in a situation of low risk, but that can change quite rapidly," Mellado said.

Echoing this, Makhura urged all political parties to encourage their supporters to vaccinate. 

"I want to appeal to the political parties. Political parties have a responsibility to adhere to Covid-19 regulations, and that is why I say, even when we gather, let's make sure we send a message to supporters. Each party should send a message to supporters that they should vaccinate, wear masks and continue to adhere to measures," he said. 

If you come across Covid-19 vaccination information that you do not trust, read Covid-19 vaccine myths debunked: Get the facts here. If you can't find the facts you're looking for, email us at the address mentioned in the article and we will verify the information with medical professionals.

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