Vaccination: More jabs in arms, amid Western Cape Covid-19 resurgence

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An official prepares a dose of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine in Cape Town. (Gallo Images/Misha Jordaan)
An official prepares a dose of Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine in Cape Town. (Gallo Images/Misha Jordaan)
Gallo Images/Misha Jordaan
  • The vaccine demand in the Western Cape has seen an uptick.
  • This comes as the province enters a resurgence, likely due to the Omicron variant.
  • Residents have been urged to get their jab as cases continue to climb.

Vaccine demand in the Western Cape has shown early signs of an increase, following the discovery of the Omicron variant.

More than 20 000 jabs were administered in the province on Monday and Tuesday each, placing it back on target for daily vaccine distribution, said Western Cape health department head Keith Cloete.

Last week, vaccinations fell below 90 000 doses administered for the week, taking the provincial health department below its target of 20 000 jabs a day.

However, based on vaccination data from early this week, demand appeared to picking up, said Cloete.

The department had the capacity to administer 40 000 vaccines a day.

READ | Covid-19: Western Cape officially enters a resurgence

With reduced demand for vaccination, the province would be rationalising its vaccine sites, added Cloete.

The Cape Town Convention Centre (CTICC) vaccination site, for example, would cease operation on Friday. The department would, instead, channel resources into mobile outreach programmes, such as the Vaxi Taxi initiative.

As of Wednesday, almost 65% of those older than 60 had been fully vaccinated, with another 5% partially vaccinated. This left 30% of the age group unvaccinated. In the 50 to 59 age cohort, 54% had been fully vaccinated and 5% partially vaccinated. Forty percent of the age group still needed to get a jab.

These two age groups were most at risk of developing severe Covid-19, hospitalisation and death.

The province's target was to fully vaccinate 85% of those 50 and older by the end of December, to reduce the impact of the fourth wave.

READ | Vaccinate so that fans can return to stadiums, deputy sports minister pleads

On Thursday, Cloete said the Western Cape had officially entered a resurgence.

"The week-on-week percent change in the seven-day moving average of new cases has been more than 20% for more than a week, indicating that we have officially entered a resurgence. Although case numbers remain relatively low, the steep increase is concerning," he said.

As cases begin to increase in the province, Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo called on residents to vaccinate. She said vaccination was the best way to avoid lockdown restrictions and prevent severe illness.

"You have the choice: to vaccinate, or to ventilate," said Mbombo.

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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