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South Africa’s vaccination campaign faces challenge of anti-jab fake news, says Health Minister Joe Phaahla

After South Africa opened up its vaccination campaign to people aged 18-34 on August 20, more than 500 000 people in the age group got registered for vaccination. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

After South Africa opened up its vaccination campaign to people aged 18-34 on August 20, more than 500 000 people in the age group got registered for vaccination. Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Aug 25, 2021

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Johannesburg - South Africa has made "encouraging" progress in its inoculation campaign against Covid-19 but is facing a challenge of fake news created by anti-vaxxers, Health Minister Joe Phaahla said.

The circulation of such news has increased and is "really our challenge", Phaahla said while updating Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Health on the vaccine acquisition and roll-out program at a virtual platform, reports Xinhua news agency.

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The government needs to improve the ability to communicate better, he said.

After South Africa opened up its vaccination campaign to people aged 18-34 on August 20, more than 500 000 people in the age group got registered for vaccination.

South Africa aims to vaccinate at least 60 percent of the adult population by the end of the year and, if possible, 70 percent, as it has to open the economy and social activities, said Phaahla, who reaffirmed that the country has stable supply of vaccines.

The country also has "adequate capacity" of human resources and physical infrastructure to administer vaccines, he added.

Till date, South Africa has administered over 11 million doses, with more than 5.14 million people fully vaccinated.

Since the onset of the pandemic early last year, South Africa has registered a total of 2,708,951 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 79,953 deaths.

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