Crucial time to be vaccinated is now before 'anticipated fourth wave hits in December'
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Cape Town - The time between first and second Pfizer doses and the wait for immunity against Covid-19 has the provincial health department cautioning that October is a crucial period for Covid-19 vaccinations, ahead of Christmas and December festivities.
This comes as the department has noted a reduction in the number of people presenting themselves for vaccinations.
The province reported 7 810 active infections, 518 216 confirmed cases and 490 718 recoveries as at 1pm yesterday.
To date, 19 688 people have succumbed to the virus, with 35 daily deaths according to the current seven-day moving average.
Currently, 1 957 people are hospitalised with Covid-19, of which 418 are in high care or ICU.
As at 5pm on Sunday, the province administered 2 769 006 Covid-19 vaccines.
The South African Modelling Consortium predicted a 100% probability of the exiting the third wave by October 2.
Provincial health department spokesperson Maret Lesch said: “This is welcome news for many – but we now also must ensure the next most vulnerable group, those 50-59-years old, also get similar vaccination coverage to those aged 60 and older.
“Vaccination remains voluntary, but it is our responsibility to ensure we save as many lives as possible before the end of the year. This is a key period now, inbetween waves, so we can ensure these citizens are vaccinated before the anticipated fourth wave hits in December.”
There is a 42-day interval between first and second Pfizer doses and therefore, the department has encouraged residents to receive their first dose by October 20 and to receive the second dose latest two weeks before Christmas (between December 1 and 11).
It takes roughly two weeks for one’s immunity to build up maximum protection after the second dose.
Health MEC spokesperson Nomawethu Sbukwana appealed to all residents eligible for the vaccine to go to their nearest vaccination sites to get vaccinated.
“It takes about 30 minutes now to get vaccinated and they do not need to register beforehand. They will be assisted as a walk-in. It doesn’t get easier than this; we have gone an extra mile to ensure that this is convenient.”