Covid-19: Western Cape passes one million vaccinations mark

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Nurse Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi was the first to receive a Covid-19 vaccine at Khayelitsha District Hospital in Cape Town.
Nurse Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi was the first to receive a Covid-19 vaccine at Khayelitsha District Hospital in Cape Town.
PHOTO: GCIS
  • The Western Cape became the third province to pass the one million mark in Covid-19 vaccinations.
  • A total of 6 613 704 people have been vaccinated since Khayelitsha healthcare worker Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi's SA-first vaccination on 17 February.
  • Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal have also passed the one million mark, despite the recent unrest.

The Western Cape became the third province to pass the one million mark in Covid-19 vaccinations.

The 1 000 722 vaccinations administered in the Western Cape followed after professional nurse Zoliswa Gidi-Dyosi became the first healthcare worker to be vaccinated when the government launched its official vaccination programme at the Khayelitsha Day Hospital in February.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and suspended minister of health Zweli Mkhize were also vaccinated under the Sisonke Protocol, which trialled the vaccination systems with healthcare workers from 17 February.

Gauteng leads the pack with 1 599 777 vaccinations, followed by KwaZulu-Natal on 1 268 266.

The vaccination programme faced a speed bump when the AstraZeneca vaccine stock from the Serum Institute of India was not used because it turned out to be less effective than expected when variants of the virus were identified.

READ | Bread, milk and a vaccine jab: Boxer stores help to get Cape Town residents vaccinated

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was also temporarily suspended after a factory error in the US.

"We celebrate reaching one million vaccinations, but we know we have much more to do and many more to vaccinate," the Western Cape Health Department said on Tuesday.

The department continued: 

We have increased our capacity and ability to administer 30 000 vaccinations per day/150 000 per week.

The department has about 200 public vaccination sites open daily in the province, and 10 sites opened on Saturday.

The province also has "pop-up" vaccination sites at some Boxer stores, and a drive-through planned for Athlone in Cape Town from August.

Almost 70% of health workers had been vaccinated.

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"At the height of the first wave (May-July), we had 4 525 health workers infected; height of second-wave, we had 3 633 staff infected. Now, we only had 679 staff infected (501 active cases as of 22 July).

"This does go to show the protection the vaccine offers."

The department was still campaigning for people to register after the take-up appeared to be low in some areas.


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