Eastern Cape govt's plan to boost vaccination by targeting men in taverns

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Nomakhosazana Meth. (Phooto: Lulama Zenzile)
Nomakhosazana Meth. (Phooto: Lulama Zenzile)
  • The Eastern Cape government has bemoaned the low number of men who have taken the Covid-19 jab. 
  • It is now planning to target men in taverns and other places of entertainment. 
  • The province has vaccinated just over one million people - 38.02% are men. 

The Eastern government has embarked on a drive to register men in taverns, in a bid to get them to take the Covid-19 vaccine.

The provincial health department announced on Wednesday that it was doing everything in its power to address vaccine hesitancy.

Eastern Cape Health MEC Nomakhosazana Meth said only 38% of the province's vaccinated population were men, with women accounting for 61.98%. 

"We strongly believe in the old saying - if the mountain won't come to Muhammed, then Muhammed must go to the mountain," Meth said in Gqeberha on Wednesday.

"Yes, we have more women than men, but that 38.02% is too low. It is not good enough... hence, we are doing everything in our power to encourage our brothers, fathers and grandfathers to do the right thing and get vaccinated," said Meth.  

READ | Covid-19: One million people in Eastern Cape fully vaccinated

The province has vaccinated more than one million people. It aims to vaccinate two million by the end of this year, in a bid to reach its 4.5 million target by the end of April next year.

The Eastern Cape has 288 331 cases of Covid-19 - of which 6 171 are active - and 14 638 deaths.

Meth said the vaccine resistance has necessitated the establishment of vaccination campaigns aimed at men, including targeting taxi ranks, malls, places of entertainment and fun, as well as restaurants.

Meth added:

We will also partner with taverns, so that patrons will get their jabs. We're also working with traditional leaders in rural areas to ensure the vaccine is easily accessible in remote and far-flung areas.

She said senior citizens, aged 60 and above, are still leading the vaccination drive, with 62% of the age group already vaccinated.

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Meth revealed that, as of 21 September, more than 1.5 million people had registered for the vaccine.

"We want to turn the registration figures into vaccinated people," she said.  

Meth said the province had enough doses of both the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines.

"We just need people to continue coming forward to any of our easily accessible vaccine sites. We will soon administer the jab in schools and institutions of higher learning, mainly targeted at our 18 to 34 age group," she added.

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