Covid-19: Vaccinations open for those 18 and older from Friday

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  • Covid-19 will open for all adults from Friday, Cabinet says. 
  • The health department hopes the 18+ cohort will improve vaccination uptake rates. 
  • The department wants to vaccinate 29 million adults by the end of the year. 

From midnight, everyone aged 18 and older will be able to register on the electronic vaccination data system (EVDS) and get the Covid-19 vaccine by the morning. 

In a statement on Thursday, Cabinet announced that all adults would be able to get vaccinated from Friday.

The system was supposed to open on 1 September for the 18+ cohort, but the date had been brought forward by two weeks. So far, about seven million people had been partially vaccinated and about four million fully vaccinated. 

The health department set a target of fully vaccinating 70% of the adult population by December, meaning the country would have to vaccinate 29 million adults to reach the target.

READ | Covid-19: Not a single vaccinated healthcare worker in Limpopo died during third wave - health dept

Nicholas Crisp, deputy director-general in the Department of Health, said: "We were waiting to announce it on Friday. We were even keeping the news from our personnel."

Crisp said they hoped young people would boost the ailing vaccination drive. Vaccination numbers had decreased in the past three weeks. 

READ | Covid-19 vaccine distribution: Why J&J is accused of using colonial tactics

"They will boost the vaccination drive for a while. The 35-plus group did that for a while and then lost interest which was disappointing, really." 

He said the department needed just to be consistent in fighting misinformation around vaccinations. 

"We are trying to see what we can do [to encourage people to vaccinate]; there are a lot of strategies going on. We need to be more accessible and dispel the myths around vaccines. That will encourage people."

He said only people registered on the EVDS system could get vaccinated. 

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"You can show up at the vaccination site, and they will register you before you get the vaccine." 

Crisp said the department also needed to reduce barriers that stopped people from getting the vaccine.

"We need to make sure vaccines, and vaccination sites are more accessible to people."

Cabinet also approved that the country remain on alert Level 3 of the lockdown. 

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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